Monday, January 30, 2006

Michael Stipe, Iconoclast (With A Nod To Bono)

Last night I watched Iconoclasts on The Sundance Channel. Here's the website's description of the series:
In this six-part original series, some of today's most provocative
personalities explore the passions and aspirations of the innovators, rule
breakers and groundshakers who inspire them.

On the episode that I saw, the famous Food Network Iron Chef Mario Batali interviewed (and bought produce with) R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe. I only caught the last 10 minutes or so but was completely taken with what I saw. Captivated is what I was. In one shot, they filmed Stipe buying some CDs to give to Chef Bartali as a surprise gift. It was interesting to watch him interact with the helpful sales clerk (at Tower, I think), who I can't tell if he knew that he was helping the lead singer for R.E.M. or not. I worked at a record store for some years and helped my share of famous musicians. Having a musician ask you what you think is cool and then buy it is way cool for the ego.

They then showed footage of Stipe and Bartoli flying to see U2 in concert. While flying, they talked about basic stuff like how Stipe got into music to begin with, songwriting techniques, and the like. What moved me though was how passionately he talked about U2's "Beautiful Day." He was looking so forward to the concert so that he could hear them play that tune. One thing he kept saying was how he wished he had written it. He just couldn't get enough of how good of a song it was.

This was followed by the next clip of Stipe and Bartoli watching the concert from sidestage. The camera caught Stipe watching and anticipating just the way that I know I have done during so many concerts from my past. Man, the power of music will put such a look on us! And here it came. The first few notes and the camera was dead-on Stipe. With a slight and giddy anticipatory bounce, you saw the 20 year old music fan in him. Not the songwriter, not the artist or star, but the fan. The half smile that I doubt he knew he was showing was infectious. Sitting with my back against my couch, I had the same half smile. And here came the chorus. Stipe was leaping into the air, pumping his fist high above that most interesting head of his. He was full-on moved by the music.

I have to admit that I had never really loved that song much myself. It's cool, but always just seemed like a forgettably well-written pop song. But after watching Michael Stipe on Iconoclasts last night, it just gained about 40 cool points on my chart. Iconoclast, indeed. And it really is a beautiful day.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Record Albums On The Radio

The DJ? Ashley.
The show? Alphabet.
The station? 91.1 WRVU Vanderbilt.

The pops and hisses sound great.

Want to see an example of her typically awesome playlist? Right here.

The show I'm listening to will be archived until this Monday. Everyone really should listen in every week. It's good for ya.

Tiny Waisted Girls Don't Move Me Much

Today, I have had one theme stay with me from beginning to end. Waking up at the crack of noon, I checked my email and read one from a friend who was venting about how her husband is often on her about her weight. He's probably a good guy in many respects: good wage earner, good dad to the kids. But his wife, after giving birth to two children and working behind a desk each day for the last ten years or so, is no longer as petite as she once was. She's not happy about it either and works out a few times a week and eats in accordance to a diet that should help her lose what weight she wishes to lose.

But he just keeps giving her negative instead of positive feedback. To hear her tell the tale, he just doesn't desire her like he used to and has no problem telling her why. One can only imagine what this does to her. Only knowing one side to this, I don't want to pick on the guy too much. But it does leave me unquestionably exasperated to hear how unloving some people can be about certain things. Women face too many unrealistic comparisons to "perfect bodies" in the media without having their insecurities proved founded by the very people who are supposed to love them unconditionally.

I have another friend who is not married but seems to spend a lot of time thinking about her weight. She is college educated, very bright, is a well-paid professional salesperson, and very creative and witty. In short, I'm very proud to call her my friend. But while I'm happy that she is working out and losing weight and feeling better about her body image as a result, I think it's a shame that either she or women like her have to tie their social confidence to a certain body type.

So with all of this on my mind, I go to my place of work and see many young girls who are in a pageant of sorts. I'm not sure of the age range but I'm guessing that they were as young as 16 and as old as 21. They were all very lovely and kind and friendly and it was a pleasure working with them tonight. But their waists were all so very, very tiny. Now if that was just a natural body type for some of them, or if they were healthy and had those figures from running and eating smart, that's great. I just hope that no one is hating herself over an extra pound or two. It's just not worth it. So much of true beauty really is in the personality, and obsessing over weight just ain't that attractive. I like self confidence a lot.

In contrast to what my married friend is dealing with, I know that I rock as a husband (at least I think I do). There is not often the day when I don't fall more and more in love with my wife. I make a point to, as often as possible, to tell her how pretty she is. She wants to lose a few pounds too, and I support her in her goal, but right this minute she is perfect because she is my wife. When Bruce Springsteen sings, "she's so pretty that you're lost in the stars" in Night, I always think of my wife in a montage of moments: when we first met, when we first kissed, when we broke up, when I proposed and she said yes, and so many other times in our shared life when I knew that her love for me was my greatest gift.

I just hope that people's approach to their body images are motivated by how they want to look more than how they feel that they should look. And I hope that husbands know that their wives are getting plenty of negative images out there in the media about how their bodies compare to the women of the pages of Cosmo or on TV. When you look at them, they need to know that you desire them. They need to know that being your wife is truly an awesome thing. They deserve this. They are beautiful beyond compare.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Night Shot

Give The People What They Want

OK. I haven't had a comment left here in days. (Friends and family don't count.)

What's a guy gotta do to get some comments left around here? I give you Bukowski references. I give you Springsteen and Bon Jovi posts. Heck, I even give you pictures of cute babies for crying out loud. Seriously, they cry out loud.

What's it gonna take? I won't dooce myself and blog about work. I need and love my crummy job. And my bosses are the greatest! (Yeah, yeah. I'm a suck-up. And you're not?)

The lovely and talented Brittany of Nashville Is Talking fame even links to me from time to time and she's like the Queen Of Blogs or something like that. Seriously, she's the reason I started this blog in the first place so I love that she even notices little ol' me.

Maybe I just need to live a more interesting life, which reminds me of a telling conversation I recently had with my wife. We were driving around on Amelia Island where many of my in-laws live on our last vacation, looking at houses and wondering if we could ever afford one of them. The plan is to move there one day to be closer to her family. This is fair because we have lived close to my family here in the Nashville area for so long.

In imagining giving up the fun, progressive city of Nashville, with its festivals and its great music shows and hiking trails and museums and such, I wondered aloud how I'd deal with moving to such a quiet, sleepy little beach town. Her reply hurt in its profound honesty.

"You don't do anything in Nashville. It couldn't be that different."

My lovely wife was dead on. I don't do jack. I wake up late, surf the web, go to work the second shift at my job, come home and watch TV or check my blogs. And that's about it. The last concert I saw was Joss Stone. But it was a streaming webcast online. The last movie I saw was on IFC. And the last time I went out for a beer was on my front porch tonight after I took my dog out for a walk.

This, of course, is not a life to complain about. This is a life of contentment. But back to the matter at hand, it doesn't make for good storytelling. So I turn this over to you, the reader. I'm open to ideas. And if I get nothing, that's OK too. I've got lots of cute baby pictures I can post.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Factotum At Sundance


“Based on Charles Bukowski's second novel and incorporating elements from his short stories, Factotum (which means "man of many jobs") focuses on Bukowski's alter ego, Henry Chinaski. Henry is a slob of a man who is fired from one undemanding job after another because of his inability to focus on anything but boozing, gambling, and sex with women as libidinous as he is.” And who plays this Chinaski guy? How about Matt Dillon? No complaints here. He’ll be backed by folks like Lili Taylor, Didier Flamand, Fisher Stevens and Marisa Tomei in a film directed by Bent (KITCHEN STORES) Hamer.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I Need A Bruce Springsteen Intervention

As proudly and graciously stated here last month, my mom was kind and loving enough to buy me the Bruce Springsteen Born To Run reissue for my birthday. That was December 18, 2005. I promptly inserted said disc into my car stereo and until yesterday, I just let it play and play and play, uninterrupted. Typically, I am in my car for 90 minutes with each trip to and from work. Even on days off, I find myself driving for at least 30 minutes or so with errands and such.

Yesterday morning, I did the math and decided that I had been listening to one 35 minute album entirely too much. Songs were making their way into my dreams. Melodies and verses were always with me. And there is just too much good music out there for me to spend so much time with just one small collection of songs.

So, as I was getting ready for work, I pulled three CDs from my bookcase that would make for good replacements to that excellent Born To Run CD. Aimee Mann's Whatever from December 19, 1995, David & David's Welcome To The Boomtown from October 25, 1990, and one more that I tried to ignore but couldn't.

Five minutes down the road, the replacement CD was serving me well and inspiring me with the poetry of a beautiful spirit. The Rising, Bruce Springsteen's masterful collection of songs written after and about the terrible events of 9/11, always stirs my soul toward hope and love. The Rising was released on July 30, 2002, just a few days before I became a better man and married my beautiful red-haired bride.

Her favorite musician is a Jersey man, too. And so, while Jon Bon Jovi is serenading her on February 14, 2006 at the Gaylord Entertainment Center, I will be by her side, loving that I am by her side. But I'll probably hear the words to Bruce's "Red Headed Woman" in my head as I watch her watch the stage. Bruce has Patti and I have Paige. Life is good.

Monday, January 16, 2006

I Picked My Horse

With the field of NFL Superbowl contenders getting smaller each week, I am finding it harder and harder to keep rechoosing a team that I want to pick to win it all. Being a good Nashvillian, I started the year hoping that my Titans would defy the odds and make another run. That was evident early on to be an exercise in great futility.

But happily, the team of my father's hometown was making great strides this season and so I got behind the Cincinnati "No Longer Hapless" Bengals. Having rooted for them for years and years as they continued to be dismal, this seemed like a year for rewarding the ever faithful. It was a year that I spent remembering the Ben-Gals, the Ickey Shuffle, the two Superbowl appearances in the '80s (both losses), and most importantly, the games I attended at their Riverfront Stadium with my pop, hearing the popular chant, "Who Dey, Who Dey, Who Dey Think They Beat Them Bengals?!"

Well, this year, after a huge year of regular season success, the Steelers beat them Bengals in the first round of the playoffs. And with that, my two favorite teams were off of the board and I was left not really caring about the rest. But I love football and I can't be left out of the post-season not rooting for someone. Who was left? The Colts? If I can't be rooting for my Titans, then I don't want anyone in the AFC South to have success. I'm glad they lost last night. The Steelers? Well, I'm glad that they beat the Colts, but I've had too many years knowing them as a rival to both the Titans and the Bengals to wish them well.

Yesterday, still not sure who I wanted to win it all, I saw an interview with Jake Plummer (Do we still call him Jake the Snake?). And like the stereotypical girl from an earlier generation, I picked a team because I liked a guy's hair. It's true. Jake has let his thick, black locks grow out and has grown out a beard to match. I would make a Charles Manson comparison but it wouldn't be quite accurate. Close, but not quite.

What I thought of while watching Jake speak (watching but not listening, because I was listening to Springsteen's 1975 masterpiece, Born To Run at the time), was that he seemed to invoke the image of the mid '70s NFL quarterback. I half expect to see him finish a game, strut to the stadium parking lot where his El Camino awaits, pop in an 8-track of Foghat or The Doobie Brothers, burn rubber down the highway. Maybe it's just me.

And so I have picked my horse (or horses), and they are the Denver Broncos. I'm just not sure if anyone can beat the Steelers right now. But I'm hoping.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

I See Your Bon Jovi And Raise You One Bellydance Superstar

While looking at this morning, I saw something that caught my eye. It seems that a few nights after the Bon Jovi concert that I am going to on Valentine's Day (because I love my wife), there is a show at the Belcourt by The Bellydance Superstars.

I can't say that I have ever heard of The Bellydance Superstars (pictures here!), but I am pretty sure that it is something that I must experience. It does seem to be a very very good opportunity for cultural enlightenment. And so it is my opinion that if my wife gets to spend a romantic evening trying to remember my name while watching Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, and Tico Torres strut around a stage, then I will have earned the right to belly up to the Belcourt and see what those Bellydance Superstars have to offer.

And I'll be sure to blog about it.

Down In It

Two things:
  1. I want to defend Nine Inch Nails from the criticism of this review in pitchfork magazine.
  2. I suppose I agree with said criticism.
But seriously, I hope that Pretty Hate Machine is left untouched and unchanged. It is what it is, and it is an album that means a lot to me. In 1989, I was really starting to cut my teeth on what kind of music moved me. I remember listening to nothing but this release for about a month or so. "Dated" as it may be, that is exactly why no one must go back into the studio and touch it up.

Even recently, I found an old cassette of it and played it for a few days in my car while going to work and back. And for those 30-40 minute periods of time, I was 19 years old all over again, just me, my beater on the interstate, and the music for my soul. In fact, it's my belief that while Trent Reznor has made far superior songs than those found on PHM, he has not made an album that has satisfied me as much as that debut work did. It won't be topped and we should all be at peace with that.

Now to the review from pitchfork (the best place to go for music news on the web):

Nine Inch Nails Pretty Hate Machine [TVT; 1989; r: Rykodisc; 2005] Rating: 5.6

2005 was supposed to be the phoenix-like rebirth of Trent Reznor's career, a return from his self-imposed exile to seize back his empire of angst from the acolytes who'd carried his banner during the interim. The Dolby-tricked-out re-release of his 1994 peak, The Downward Spiral, sounded the fanfare, its finely textured bursts of despair and strangely soothing hushed introspections losing little of its alternative-era whollop. But new album With Teeth vampired off this momentum, sounding disappointingly paint-by-numbers despite its success on mostly toothless modern-rock radio.

Now comes a reissue of Nine Inch Nails' introduction to the world, a move which could be perceived as another grasp at legacy rehabilitation through past-mining, were it not for Reznor's non-compliance with the release. You see, Pretty Hate Machine has been a neglected child in divorce proceedings, languishing out of print while TVT attempted to settle its affairs with assorted Mr. Potters, who eventually tried to hock it along with other parts of the label's back catalog. As such, PHM returns to your store shelves courtesy of Rykodisc, who licensed the record from that industrial figurehead, Prudential Securities-- after all, nobody says rock like The Rock.

Due to these auspicious origins, the new incarnation of Pretty Hate Machine is indistinguishable from the original: no 5.1 surround-sound, no B-side/remix sweetening, no fishnet slipcase/bonus snuff DVD deluxe packaging. Sadly, with no garish extras, there's nothing to distract from what turns out to be a horribly dated album, just as awkwardly out of step with the mid-aughts as The Downward Spiral was unexpectedly relevant.

Remastering might've spruced it up, but it's unlikely a digital touchup could keep Pretty Hate Machine from sounding tinny enough to give you that penny-taste in your mouth. Drumbeats are often industrial in the most literal sense, machinery-simulating presets stiff as prosthetics. The rest of the mix doesn't offer any escape routes, filled out as it is with paper-thin synthesizers and Reznor's echo plug-in front-and-center vocals spouting posts, the razor-guitars and stampeding drums he perfected just three years later on "Wish" completely MIA. These failings didn't sink in back when I had "Head Like a Hole" cranked up on my Discman on the school bus, but today that and others sound thin, quaint, the furthest thing from dangerous.

As a result, Pretty Hate Machine sounds less like NIN's astonishing breakthrough and more like developmental bumbling, leaving one to wonder why it was ever considered otherwise. Perhaps the album was swept up in the hypewaves generated by Reznor's famous afternoon sets at the first Lollapalooza, perhaps PHM reaped the rewards of people being late to the Wax Trax! game. And to tell the truth, it's still possible to see the early vestiges of Reznor's skillful reconfiguration of all those nasty Chicago and German sounds for pop palatability, placing the emphasis on the melody rather than the machinery. Hints at Reznor's considerable studio craft pop up more often in the second half, the breakbeats of "Kinda I Want To" momentarily enlivening the limp rhythms, "Sin" (probably NIN's most underrated and best early song) seeding the creepy brooding sensations that didn't fully bloom until the Broken EP.

But there are just too many embarrassingly distinct time-stamps of 1989-ness to ignore: the hilarious talk-rap vocals of "Down In It", that Chili Peppers poppy bass on "Sanctified", the "Goodbye Blue Sky" rip of "Something I Can Never Have". Like most self-serious music, time hasn't gone easy on the depressive couplets (fill in the rhyme!: "bow down before the one you serve...") and haunted-house keyboards of Reznor's debut, eroding away much of what must've been shocking and novel about it 17 years ago. Unlike The Downward Spiral or Broken, Pretty Hate Machine's re-release reveals the album to be an artifact, perhaps historically valuable, but as anachronistic as Napoleon in a water park.

-Rob Mitchum, January 13, 2006

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Tagged - Give Me Five

And so it is that I have been tagged by a fellow blogger to do this list thing. I was kind of hoping that I would avoid this blogging trend, but I also knew it was inevitable. Like that darn beach ball that is often bounced around the crowd at concerts, it always finds its way to me, daring me to cooly punch it just right so that it will travel through the air a respectable distance and on to the next stoner, I mean music fan.

The uncomfortable truth is that I always envision hitting it at just the wrong angle and very uncooly sending it into the back of the head of the guy in front of me. I think there was a Kevin Costner movie once where I heard the line, "If you envision it, it will duly suck." Or something like that.

But let's move away from that beach ball story that may or may have not been relevant and get back to the subject at hand. Only because it was
Rex who tagged me will I do it. Well, Rex or any pretty girl. Because Rex's blog is such a great read and because he and I live in the same town (you gotta be cool with your fellow townsfolk), I will answer these little questions. But I will break the rules in one small but important area.

After finishing this little "get to know ya" list, I will not be attempting to send that beach ball back into the crowd. I will not be tagging others. They can adopt it as they wish, but the pressure is not on. Read, smile, and move on if you like. My parents were hippies and I'm a laid back dude, too.

My Fives:

5 JOBS YOU'VE HAD IN YOUR LIFE: hotel bellman, luggage salesman, record store guy, pizza guy, auto parts delivery guy

5 MOVIES YOU COULD WATCH OVER AND OVER: fearless, carlito's way, true romance, swingers, leap of faith

5 PLACES YOU'VE LIVED: franklin, nashville, murfreesboro, that's all folks

5 TV SHOWS YOU LOVE TO WATCH: IFC (it's a channel, not a show - but I'm counting it), the office, black books, coupling, and love monkey (that one hasn't started yet, but I just finished the novel that it's based on and trust that it will be one of my favorite shows)

5 PLACES YOU'VE BEEN ON VACATION: madrid, paris, d.c., amelia island, nyc

5 WEBSITES YOU VISIT DAILY: dooce, nashville library, podcast alley, ice magazine, and a whole slew of blogs

5 OF YOUR FAVORITE FOODS: not much of a foodie, it's the same list I had in fourth grade - pizza, spaghetti, steak & peas, chili, 0h...and Skyline Chili from Cincinnati

5 PLACES YOU'D RATHER BE: nyc, chicago, amsterdam, black mountain n.c., las vegas

5 ALBUMS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT: are you serious? only five? hmmm, right this minute it's The Rising by Springsteen, Triage by David Baerwald, The Heart Of Saturday Night by Tom Waits, Skin by Peter Himmelman, and 620 W. Surf by Michael McDermott

5 PEOPLE YOU'D TAG TO PLAY THIS GAME: Take it and run with it. I'll call on no members of the class. Answer if you like and have fun.

Turn On, Tune In And Drop Out...And Happy Birthday

Albert Hofmann turns 100. Here's a news story about the "father of LSD."

Friday, January 13, 2006

Advice Please

Shopping for a new laptop
Is Computer Renaissance best or somewhere else?
Should I consider a Mac?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I Could Use Some Bravery Right Now

It occurred to me tonight as I drove my very old Honda home from work (my "jalopy" as a nephew of mine likes to call it), that I have done myself no favors in a long time. I remember a time not too long ago, that I faced life with no real fears to speak of. I've never been a real outgoing sort, but I never really seemed to deny myself of anything that I felt I deserved.

But lately, I have really hurt my lot in life by somehow finding myself afraid to step forward with job opportunities. It could be that I paralyze myself by looking around and seeing just how much I have to lose. Maybe in life's game of Russian roulette, I have found the chamber not to be empty a few too many times. I do seem to be gun shy nowadays.

Simply put, I have been unhappy at my current job (not mentioned by name here) for a good year or so. However, a dream job has been put before me, and for several months I have not moved forward in pursuing it. I have been all talk and no action. Finally, I have asked a valued friend to help me put together my resumé. Maybe that's the baby step I need.

One fear that I need to get over is America's worst fear. I need to get over my fear of speaking in public. It will be a daily requirement at the new job. I am often told that I have a good voice. A mellifluous one, at that. It is easy for me to visualize myself speaking in public and sounding good while doing it.

But I realized that visualizing and doing are two different things last September when I was asked to give a toast in front of friends and family. In the minutes before my time to speak, I felt cool. While walking up to the mic to speak, I felt cool. No nerves. No butterflies. I was John Travolta-cool. But as soon as I heard my amplified voice, my mind was about as clear as mud and I felt as cool as a guy asking for a Michael Bolton CD in a hip, young alternative record store. In other words, not very. My voice, oh how it quivered. And this was a gathering of people whose approval I needn't worry about earning. Of course, maybe it's easier in front of strangers anyway. It better be.

The new job isn't something I need to talk myself into. I know I want it. Comparing Current Job with Dream Job makes for a considerably easy decision.

Current Job:
  1. Work nights and weekends away from family.
  2. Great health benefits.
  3. Income fluctuates from average to poor.
  4. Seniority? What seniority?
Dream Job:
  1. Work nights and weekends away from family(this will diminish with seniority). But can have several days off in a row giving myself improved quality time with wife and kids.
  2. Great health benefits.
  3. Income is substantially greater. On bad days, I can always remind myself of this to get by.
  4. Seniority? It's all about seniority. So even when taking my lumps as a new guy can be tough, I know that in time it'll be someone else and not me.
I'm sure it's a lot more complex than comparing four things, but that's all I need to see right now. Most everyone I know who works at the dream job absolutely loves it. They say that it feels as if they were on vacation every day. I want a piece of that action.

So here's the plan of action for improving my mind, body, and soul this year:
  • Get that resumé out and pursue the happiness and higher income that I deserve.
  • Get back into therapy. I cut it short after about three sessions a few years ago declaring myself "All cured. Thanks, Doc!" That was ridiculous on my part. Get back in, be honest, and get back to realizing my potential.
  • Run and exercise more. I used to do that daily but have really dropped the ball recently.
That's a very short but very important list. And I'm gonna knock it out.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

House Of Freaks - Bryan Harvey And Family Murdered

I'm sorry that this blog is reading like an obit lately. However I just read of the untimely and absolutely brutal murder of Bryan Harvey, his wife, and two daughters on New Year's Day. It appears that two men have been arrested and are the suspected assailants. Here's the news link.

Bryan Harvey was the singer and guitarist for late Eighties, early Nineties band House Of Freaks. In the early Nineties, I worked at Turtles Music on Nolensville Rd. I was lucky to work with some true music fans with big ears. There were three employees specifically who always seemed to be going on about the Next Big Thing.

These early twenty-something girls also tended to be right on the money about predicting that bands I had never heard of would soon be hot sellers in our bright yellow CD racks. Elena, Tina, and Melissa would rave about bands like Nirvana months before MTV told the world about "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

One of the many bands I might never had heard of if not for these excellently cool friends and coworkers was House Of Freaks. I think I have bought one of their CDs five or six times over the years. I had a habit of giving it away to friends who didn't know who they were. Right this minute, I can't quite remember that CD too well (time to buy it once again, maybe?), but as I recall, it was a kind of blues based, alternative sound with a touch of power pop. Not a world away from the sound of the Foo Fighters. They had a surprisingly full sound for a band of two. Bryan Harvey sang and played guitar and Johnny Hott played the drums. That's it. No bass.

Whatever. They had broken up in the mid-Nineties and I don't know what they were doing professionally. But Bryan Harvey and his family were residents of Richmond, Virginia and were fatal victims of what police believe was a robbery. The suspected murderers are also believed to be responsible for the recent murder of another family.

I've always known that life is fleeting. It's the brutality which ends it that one struggles to understand. Thanks to Elena, Tina, and Melissa for making me hip to their music and thanks to Bryan Harvey and Johnny Hott for the music you made. My thoughts and prayers are with all of the affected friends and families.

Stella Harvey, 9, left, and Ruby
Harvey, 4, in an undated family

Friday, January 06, 2006

Lou Rawls - Rest In Peace

Listening to the usual news stories this morning, I was taken aback by news that Lou Rawls had died. Here's the CNN link.

I can't say that I followed his career very closely, but I always liked what I heard. Most notably, I just remember him playing the part of sympathetic cab driver to Elizabeth Shue in Leaving Las Vegas.

As I write this, I am listening to him sing "Nobody But Me." When I get home from work tonight, I will do myself a favor and experience a lot more of his honey-like voice.

[Edit to add: I just found his latest live albmum on Rhapsody. I just may have to be late to work today. Go and find this and listen to it. It owns me right now.]

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Feeling Overwhelmed? Take A Walk

It did wonders for me tonight.

Hauoli Makahiki Hou

Credit & Copyright: Rob Ratkowski
(I found this on Astronomy Picture of the Day)

Explanation: Fading sunlight, a young crescent Moon, and brilliant Venus shared the western sky in this view of 2005's final sunset from the top of Mount Haleakala, on Maui, Hawaii. Also known as the Sacred House of the Sun, Haleakala, is Maui's dormant volcano. At 10,000 feet the summit is an ideal site for astronomical observatories, and this scene also features the silhouette of the northern hemisphere Faulkes Telescope. Of particular interest to students the Faulkes Telescope is a 2-meter diameter instrument, dedicated to astronomy education, that can be remotely operated over the internet. The project is a joint effort between the Dill Faulkes Educational Trust and the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy. Of course on Haleakala, "Happy New Year" would be "Hauoli Makahiki hou" (how-oh-lee ma-ka-hee-key ho).

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Monday, January 02, 2006

Role Reversal

Today is college football bowl day and the Georgia Bulldogs play some team from West Virginia. My lovely wife went to UGA, is manic about her Dawgs and loves college football in general. As for me, I can take it or leave it. I am a big fan of the NFL and root for the Titans and the Bengals but if my team loses, it's no big deal to me. My wife however, needs a few days to herself if her Dawgs drop a game to UT or UF.

And so, today her focus is on the TV and on the TV for her is nothing but football. I told her that it's a good thing that The Gilmore Girls isn't having a marathon on the WB because I love that show and we'd have a fight on our hands over who got to watch what. She just gave me that look that indicated that it wouldn't have been much of a fight. I just smiled, turned on some jazz on the bathroom radio, and took a bubble bath.

I think I've said too much.