Monday, October 31, 2005

Rosa, Thanks For Changing The World

Tonight, I am moved. I am watching the Service for Rosa Parks on C-SPAN. I encourage everyone to either watch this on TV if it is rerun or to just purchase a copy of it at the above link.

Hers is a name I've not paid much attention to over the years. In my world, I've not personally witnessed any horrible acts of prejudice. I've always been raised and taught to respect the equality of all, to love all of my neighbors of this world. We are all God's children, simply said. But what a different world and environment I might have known if it was not for Rosa Parks. It humbles me to think what a different person I might have been if not for Rosa Parks.

I need to tape the above service and keep a copy in my home. To watch it the next time I think I've got it tough. To watch it the next time I feel overwhelmed. To watch it the next time I think that my problems are too high to be overcome. She reminds me that with God, all things are possible. If I live for a just God, I don't need to be overwhelmed by what might be an unjust system. She did overcome and I will overcome.

She didn't want to just be remembered as the bus woman. But that's all I remember being taught about her in school. I didn't know that other black Americans had been arrested for similar incidents prior to her. The difference is that she was the first to plead "not guilty" to breaking any law.

It's now that I am proud to remember a story from my white grandfather's youth. He had a good friend who happened to be black. As the story goes, they would go to the movies together. The law being what it was, his friend was not allowed to sit on the main floor seats but rather was segregated to the balcony seats. Their easy solution was that my grandfather would just sit up in the balcony with his friend and the rest of the moviegoers of color. There was no law against that. It seems that my grandfather was a highly evolved young man and I'm proud to know him.

Of course, I'm sure that I have ancestors whose stories are not as nice. I just don't know those stories. What is important to me though, is that I am to my children and future grandchildren what my grandfather is to his children and grandchildren: a man they are proud to know, and a man Rosa Parks would be proud to know.

May God bless you, Rosa Parks. We needed what you gave us. Thank you.

Here's a link to a bio of her life's work.

The Nashville Library Website Just Got Cooler

While checking my record this morning to see if my copy of Nighthawks At The Diner had come in yet, I found a new feature on the Nashville Public Library website. They have added an image collection.

Here, I have found Nashville postcards dating back to 1907. I have found interesting and historic photos of downtown Nashville from several decades past. I see a picture of JFK speaking at the Maxwell House Hotel in 1959. I also see a photo of Mayor Beverly Briley's Oath of Office. (Sorry about your messed up parkway.)

There is a 1962 photo of the under construction Municipal Auditorium, where I would later meet the likes of Def Leppard and Bon Jovi. I also found a photo of the Hume Fogg basketball team from 1969. My brother would later play for the same school.

As cool as this is, I need to get down to the library and visit their Nashville Room and see what else they've got. I may have a Murfreesboro address, but I've got a Nashville heart and soul.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

What It's All About

You Want Fresh Sounds? The Go! Team Is On

Sunday morning, 9 am, The Go! Team is wowing me to no end. If my car stearo was half decent, I'd be blasting this to and from work for the next month and a half. As it is, I will have to settle for deafening my neighbors with it when I get home tonight.

Find the music, read about it, and rock on, people!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Our Very Own Vandyland On The Splendid Table

Thanks to Corey for sending me this audio link to The Splendid Table talking about Vandyland.

And also thanks for pointing me to and their Vandyland page. I'd advice all readers to get on down to Vandyland, say hi to chef Mac McGee, and order a delicious chocolate soda.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Mark Your Calendars, Set Your Tivos

Nov 9, PBS Steve Martin Tribute

Also, Shopgirl is playing in select cities and is getting rave reviews. Watch for it at your local theater and enjoy.

Who Do You Love?

That title only vaguely goes with this entry, but in thinking of two friends and their famous former boyfriends, I thought of that great Bo Diddley song. Rock still hasn't really improved on that great classic tune. Anyway, on with the blog...

So, now I have two friends from work who are kind of like rock stars in my eyes. And by that, I mean that they both have dated famous people - one of whom is actually a rock star. These two women were already cool in my book, but their former boyfriends raised them up a notch or two.

The first one, I haven't seen in a few years. It's a shame how people so easily drift apart. No big falling out, no big drama. Just that moment when you realize that you haven't talked to that person in about six months, which later becomes years. That's life I suppose.

Anyway, E. and I were good friends who had football in common. Big Titans fans, we went to a few games together, talked about each game the day after, and generally had the big time. Some people thought we were dating, but it wasn't like that at all. We were just really good friends. Then one day, I started talking about how much the Cincinnati Bengals were a part of my football childhood. The great games with names like Ken Anderson and Cris Collinsworth and Icky Woods.

It was at this point that she told me that she and Cris used to date. I was over at her house and she dug up an old picture of him to show me. It struck me as a bit weird that the man who had once been her boyfriend was also the man on the poster on my wall when I was a child. No wallet size for me. How about 16x20?

And recently I was talking to a good friend who I admire greatly. Our thing tends to be music, always getting around to cool John Prine stories and such. Just a few weeks ago, she tells me that she used to date Southside Johnny. Being a man who listens to at least one Bruce Springsteen song a week and sometimes the same Bruce CD in my car for three weeks straight, I am now quite enamored by this info. Anyone with any E Street connection at all is immediately immeasurably cool in my book. It's safe to say that I will forever hang on her every word from now on.

Seriously, I hang on her every word anyway. She is an incredibly compassionate person and I'm lucky to call her my friend. I wish her the absolute best in life and I hope that in a few years I'm not remembering her as yet another person from whom I've drifted.

What's My Exit Number?

Hey TDOT! When you finish with Briley Parkway and I-40, can you take a look at my exit number off of I-24? Thanks.

The number six gets no respect. Take that, number six.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Back On The Block

It appears that all is well for the PC...again. So no more library blogging for me...until next time.

Got a touch of wanderlust here. Driving home tonight, I decided that it would be cool if I was driving across the country with a friend, singing loudly along to obscure Warren Zevon songs. But coming home and listening to Santa Monica's KCRW will suffice for now. I will never tire of hearing songs I've never heard before.

For some reason, I got to thinking of old places I used to go to in Nashville when I was a kid. I'll throw out a few names of these special places which no longer exist. Dipper Dan's was an ice cream shop that my dad and I used to go to. There was some diner in Melrose whose name I forget right now; I will say that when I think of that diner, I remember that I used to always play "Black Water" by the Doobie Brothers on the jukebox. My favorite line from that song? "...pretty mama come and take me by the hand..."

Campus Grill was another spot that I loved. That was in the Vandy area and I always called it the Campus Girl. I remember the woman on the storefront sign (neon maybe?) and the cool, tall white hats the cooks wore. And lastly, The Sailmaker was the coolest place ever. All of the waiters and waitresses were all dressed up as characters. For the life of me, I have no idea if they were Disney type characters or generic pirates and such. I just know that little Bez loved the experience of going there all of the time.

It's good to be back to the blog and I hope for the best of health for this computer before me. And big time thanks to Greg for fixing it. I still owe you more beer.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

We'll Just Call This My Hiatus

My home PC is 3 years old. It's cranky. It's buggy. And it's spending the week at my friend's house. My friend knows how to fix computers and I don't. My friend fixes computers for the low, low price of a 12-pack of cheap beer.

Until he gets it back into shape, I'll be checking e-mails at the library. And, except for this post, I doubt I'll be doing much blogging.

Carry on and be well.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Georgia Bulldog Fans Meet Georgia Bulldog

Uga? Ari. Ari? Uga.

Uga? Joshua. Joshua? Uga.

Proud photo-op complete. Carry on and enjoy your day.

Sheryl Crow, I Owe You An Apology

A few months ago, I wrote rather dismissively about a lot of what you have created musically since David Baerwald became a part of your creative past. Later, I heard "Good Is Good" from your new CD. Then, tonight, I heard your new CD in its entirety. You pretty much own me again.

This release, Wildflower, is a thing of beauty. It stands up there with your first release from so many years ago. It even seems to surpass it right this minute. It rivals my girl Aimee Mann, reminds me a bit of Sam Philips, and is the smoothest, coolest thing I have listened to in a long time.

I read an interview where you said that with John Shanks producing, instead of you producing yourself, you was able to really just focus on the songwriting and your own vocals in a way that you hadn't for previous releases. I can hear that your voice does seem to resonate in a way I haven't heard before. Your perfectly controlled raspiness complements the richly arranged songs in just the perfect way.

I suppose Wildflower could be just a little bit more quirky for my taste. It seems to get close to it with "Live It Up", albeit in a good-vibe, positive-anthem kind of way, but you totally lost me with "Always On Your Side" which just feels made for cheesy first dances at weddings across the globe. Still, it's a strong record and I thank you for it.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Vivian Malone Jones, Stronger Than I

We are better for having shared a world with her, and for the people who fought for her rights. May she rest in peace.

And if you can take it, here's news from Toledo today.

Dawgs, Dores, Titans, Bengals, Oh My

This is quite the interesting football weekend for me. Vandy and Georgia are playing right now. I have always been a dutiful Vandy fan. My wife, however, went to UGA and is very much the rabid, maniacal fan. That sweet, kind, polite southern girl I married sure can cuss when it comes to Georgia football. Now, I am always rooting for my Dores when they play, but I never expect them to win, so I never really care much about these "house divided" games.

But this year, with their 4-0 start and current 4-2 record, I want my team to win big time this weekend. I don't care about my wife's feelings for the next hour or so. I'm a Dores fan, man. And I'll take any and all wins that'll help secure a Bowl bid for the Black and Gold.

And then, there's Sunday. Our much aligned Tennessee Titans play the once-upon-a-time hapless Cincinnati Bengals. This year's Bengals are the proud owners of a 4-1 record. The first NFL game I ever attended was a Bengals-Seahawks matchup in the now defunct Riverfront Stadium. For twelve years, they were the whipping boys of the NFL, the celler swellers of their division, teams felt rewarded to find them on their schedule. An easy win, no doubt. But now, the tide has turned. It is a team whose owners are making better hiring and spending decisions. It is a team whose coaches are making a difference. They are smart, tough, and impassioned, and it shows on the field.

My cool pop was a Cincinnati kid and he raised me to know the deliciousness of Skyline Chili, the timeless lyrics to the song "We're Here Because We're Here", and that there is not much more satisfying than a Cincinnati Bengals victory. So, Tennessee Titans, I love you. But not this week. To those who know, I say "Who dey, who dey?" You know the rest.

(Edit to add: Vandy game is over. They have lost. Georgia won. Dawgs, I now wish you a national championship.)

Thanks For Keeping My City Safe, You Rascal You

Murfreesboro cop suspended for alleged misconduct

The first violation doesn't really bother me too much, but the second one is pretty much inexcusable. I love my town.

Friday, October 14, 2005

The Bad News... computer is being repaired, tweaked, generally made better by a friend. And thus blogging will have to wait.

The good news...I'm doing the dishes and sweeping the floor instead of surfing the web.

I'd rather be blogging though.

Be well all.

Friday, October 07, 2005

The Weekend Is Upon Us

I am off Sat and Sun (rare things in this industry), and I have good plans.

Exit/In on Saturday night and Radio Cafe on Sunday night. Locals, come on out if you like. There should be good music and good times awaiting.

from NashvilleRage:


In the same vein as our very own deliciously bawdy burlesque gals Panty Raid comes one of the most important troupes in the international revival of the long-dismantled burlesque circuit, FluffGirl Burlesque. Hailing from Toronto, FluffGirl have toured and teased the world with their undeniably sexy and sophisticated stage show.

10pm, Exit/In, $8 advance through Ticketmaster, Venus & Mars/Silvery Moon Vintage Clothing and Katy K’s, $10 door.

Radio Cafe:
Event: Plowhaus Benefit feat. Carrie Mills, Tommy Keenum, Jace Seavers, Bill Stever, Alan Rhody, Mark Webb, Patton James, Panty Raid & Joshua Black Wilkins Synopsis: A seasoned troubadour and respected guitarist, Rhody and his witty folk and bluegrass songs have earned comparisons to John Prine and the late John Hartford, both of whom appear on his album Journey.

James and company were doing swing and jump blues before the Big Bad Voodoo Cherry Poppin' Squirrel Nut onslaught of a few years ago. But James also indulges a passion for vintage Vegas lounge-style crooning, paying homage to Frank Sinatra and Bobby Darin as much as Louis Prima and Louis Jordan.

Panty Raid are a burlesque troupe who perform classy, tasteful routines in cute little outfits--most of which they take off. Joshua Black Wilkins is a stylish, Lower Broad-style traditionalist who brings a rockabilly swagger to steel-driven, bass-slappin' honky-tonk.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

It Takes A Mother-In-Law

Money remains tight. But the love at Chéz Béz remains strong.
Mother-in-law is now officially a cohabitant. Hurricane Katrina did what she did, and now Biloxi has been traded for Murfreesboro. Fewer casinos, but more grandchildren. And now, I have to step up my game.

I've always been a lousy housekeeper (I honestly don't see the apparent dirt and dust and clutter that is only too obvious to others), and mother-in-law is exceptional at maintaining beautiful cleanliness. And so, I have to keep myself in check. No more leaving dishes in the sink with the intention of getting to them "when I get the chance." I must rise to the occasion and minimize the need to pick up after me.

She has been here only a few days now, and the "clean the garage" project is high priority and she has taken the bull by the horns. This garage (with no help from yours truly) is, after years of respectful neglect, looking like a nice place to park one's car. It's amazing the things one can do when there is not a blog that needs maintaining, a video game that needs playing, or a nap that needs taking.
I'm grateful that she's here and hope that she always knows just how welcome she is. (Yes, I tell her.) Except I have this sneaking suspicion that my next day off will be spent cleaning out closets and building shelves.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

A Company Man

Another weird night at work and I am exhausted. The guy who does the job that I hate quit today. This means that until his replacement is found, I'm the guy. Doing what in other industries, seniority would have taken me far from by now. But there is no seniority here. They just make schedules and fill holes. My name always seems to come up first when it's time to fill holes.

It's been better lately though. I've got the heart of a second shifter and it's been a long time since I have found myself setting the alarm for 3:00am for a first shift duty. 8:00am is the earliest I have had to come in lately, and that shows me that management cares somewhat for me. But now, it looks like while I am still happily on second shift, it'll be a more difficult and less rewarding one than I prefer.

Taking one for the team. That's what I do. When the time comes for me to put them down for a reference as I try to better myself, they had better speak highly of me. For them, I suffer kindly...everyday.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

"Carlito?" "Hello Gayle."

While looking through the New York Times, I saw an ad for a new movie. It was for Carlito's Way: Rise To Power (2005). I was really excited for about four hours. Reading up on it later that evening revealed that a lot of critics were placing it as average at best. And these were critics like me, critics who loved Carlito's Way (1993).

I had just broken up with a girlfriend and was looking for a way to busy my mind with anything but her. So to the movies I went. I saw that Al Pacino was in one of the choices and that was all that I needed. Paying my four or five bucks, I sat down to the story of Carlito Brigante. And I loved it. It was written by writer and Judge Edwin Torres. Brian DePalma directed and Al Pacino and Art Garfunkel, I mean Sean Penn starred.

It took care of my pain and took me to a world I am glad I only know through cinema. Drug dealers and murderers, people caught in a cycle of loyalty to miscreants. Pacino was the bad guy trying to go good. Freed from prison on a technicality, with the aid of his lawyer, Art Garfunkel, I mean Sean Penn, all he wanted to do was hustle up enough money to buy a car rental company in paradise. But Edwin Torres knew the reality all too well. Some people just aren't born into a life where you can just choose peace. Not if you want to live.

So anyway, I have loved this movie since its release. It's sexy, dangerous, and cool. And DePalma made what was probably an average movie into something that was fresh and fun. Now, the producer and longtime friend of Pacino has directed this prequel. From what I read, it's not all that great. Except for a limited run in a few big city theaters, it's straight to DVD. I'll catch it anyway, but the initial excitement has passed. And that could be the thing that saves it. My expectations have dropped, and now I am ready to be pleasantly surprised. Just the way the 1993 release became so much more than I required of it.

Oh, and since people tend to write about what they are listening to when blogging, I'll add that Yahoo Launchcast is now playing "Say Yes" by Elliott Smith. Nice surprise there, too. I haven't heard that song since the last time I saw Good Will Hunting. Man, I love that song!

Get Your Own Slogan

Here are a few that would look good on a shirt:

«You can't beat Beziat.»
«Beziat nonstop.»
«Always the real thing, always Beziat.»
«Beziat - Your personal entertainer.»
«Ooh la la, Beziat.»
«Nobody does it like Beziat.»
«Beziat, whiter than the whitest!»
«Beziat is your safe place in an unsafe world!»
«Beziat kicks ass.»