Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I think I'll be a zombie for Halloween. (No costume or makeup required.)

The kids have the weirdly named hand foot mouth disease. The poor things have sores on their tongues which are very painful for them. This, of course, is very inconvenient for me. They're staying home from daycare and I'm up early with them in the mornings, following that with a 2nd shift job that doesn't get me home until late each night. A smart man would hurry home and jump right into bed in order to maximize his limited opportunities for sleep. A smarter man than I, indeed. You should see my tired eyes. This zombie wants a nice, long nap.

I drove home tonight watching out my window as the moon's reflected light followed me across the dam. Newton Dominey's "This Time Of Year" played softly on the iPod and I found myself wondering how a songwriter can so perfectly get the right mood, instrumentation, and words to play together so well as this. It's a song like this that helps me be at peace with the fact that I don't know what the hell I'm doing in life. It asks questions about loneliness and reveals the writer's hopes for what Heaven is like.

The yearning uncertainties sung amidst such a warmly produced tune mirror my own introspective moments' thoughts. If I don't learn how to stop stressing over every little thing, I'll never become whoever it is that I'm supposed to be. Surely, this is not it. Lonely in crowds and unsure of who I am is no way to make a life.

That said, I don't mind that I'm quiet by nature. Getting lost in a masterpiece of a Van Morrison record is a wonderful way to spend some time if I'm going to be alone. And I like that other people's feelings matter to me. It can be a rough life and I do more than my share of worrying, but on these quiet nights when just the right music is playing, I feel certain that I'm looking at life correctly and asking the right questions.

Anyway, that moon is absolutely beautiful tonight. I wonder how many people over the course of time have looked up at it on a noiseless night and felt peace in not having to have the answers. It demands nothing of us. It simply is what it is and it welcomes our ruminative minds.

(Moon picture by Leesa White)

"Who's a good girl?"

Monday, October 29, 2007

Easy Rider, Indeed

I subscribe to BoingBoing so that I may see cool things like this:

It's called the Trampe and it was built into Trondheim, Norway's steepest incline. The bicyclist merely rests his foot on the moving metal plate and up the hill he goes.

In a much improved version of my world, I would use a bicycle as my main means of transportation. With a daily commute between Hermitage and Donelson, not to mention a shift that ends just before midnight, it's unlikely to happen anytime soon. The Vespa (or comparable scooter) dream remains a strong one.

In closing, as Tony Kornheiser always said to end his radio show (and in tribute to the Stones' "Something Happened To Me Yesterday"), "If you're out on your bike tonight, do wear white."

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Bon Jovi, All Summed Up

Kelefa Sanneh of The New York Times writes of Bon Jovi's opening of Newark's brand new Prudential Center and says this of Jon Bon Jovi and his songs:
But most of the hits work as well as ever, thanks partly to his breathy, still-boyish voice, which always seems to be delivering the same two messages: “We’re gonna make it” and “C’mere.”

Admit it, ladies. Some of you just swooned at "C'mere," didn't you?

The Teachers Know

American kids, dumber than dirt
Warning: The next generation might just be the biggest pile of idiots in U.S. history

By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

It is not merely a sad slide. It is not just a general dumbing down. It is far uglier than that.

We are, as far as urban public education is concerned, essentially at rock bottom. We are now at a point where we are essentially churning out ignorant teens who are becoming ignorant adults and society as a whole will pay dearly, very soon... more>>

I'm big in the UK. (Oh, wait. That's not me.)

If I took my blog - and the branding of it - seriously, I guess I'd have a stronger opinion of this. But I'm a pretty laid-back guy and I doubt either of us are in this for the big bucks, so I'll just share the video of this kid from the UK with the same moniker as me.

Ladies and gentlemen...

The ChezBez Show!

Friday, October 26, 2007

I'm A Genius

A few nights back, I dropped my iPod onto the locker room floor. It knocked the click-wheel out of place and, while I could still navigate it to play, I could no longer get it to pause or turn off. The bottom of the wheel was indented a bit and wouldn't respond to my touch. Thankfully, I could always just fast-forward to the end of a podcast or song and then let it eventually go to sleep mode, but it was still an unpleasant reminder that damage had been done.

Going to the Apple store to talk to a "Genius" was out of the question for me as broke as I have been lately, so I resigned myself to deal with it as it was, flawed but functional.

Fast-forward to tonight: I left work and turned on the iPod to listen to the rest of Wanker Girl's latest podcast, but the power kept coming and going. 'Perfect,' I thought. 'No more music for me. No more podcasts. The iPod is almost dead.' Instinctively, I gave my cherished machine a hard whack on its back. I don't know if I thought smacking it would fix it or if I was just mad and acted accordingly.

Regardless, it's all better now. I'm a genius and I fixed it. Thanks to my frustrated behavior, the click-wheel popped back in place and the iPod works just like new. Granted, this doesn't necessarily mean that the slightest bump won't break it again, but I'm choosing not to think about that right now. Tom Waits sings "New Coat Of Paint," and I'm happy again.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to kick my car.


"Puttin' On The Dog"
-Tom Waits

Well, we could go into a zuki jump
It's rainin', it pours
Big ol' Lincoln with the suicide doors
Tip that bottle from the brim to the dregs
You ain't dancin' till you cross your legs
Puttin' on the dog tonight

We'll be puttin' on the dog tonight
We'll be puttin' on the dog tonight
Puttin' on the dog tonight
Puttin' on the dog
I'll be p-puttin' on the dog

Puttin' on the dog
Puttin' on the dog
Puttin' on the dog
Puttin' on the dog

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Even the Word of the Day knows my pain.

Over at RefDesk.com, today's Word of the Day is "pourboire." I was previously unfamiliar with the word, but the example sentence resonated with me quite perfectly.

(noun) A relatively small amount of money given for services rendered.
baksheesh, gratuity, tip
The bellboy waited expectantly, but no pourboire was forthcoming.

Drops dripped.

"Rains On Me"
-Tom Waits

This is how the world will be
Everywhere I go it rains on me
Forty monkeys drowning in a boiling sea
Everywhere I go it rains on me
I went down into the valley to pray
Everywhere I go it rains on me
I got drunk and I stayed all day
Everywhere I go it rains on me

Everywhere I go
Everywhere I go
Everywhere I go
It rains on me

Joy Amidst The Struggles

Angst and drudgery have got nothing on the good feeling some songs will give you.

There's thanks due to USA Today's Pop Candy blogger Whitney Matheson for turning me on to the overwhelming goodness that is Cannonball Jane's "Take It To Fantastic." Who is Cannonball Jane? Well, she's a humble elementary school music teacher by day who writes, performs, records and mixes her own songs in her home studio by night. Infectious is what "Take It To Fantastic" is. I'm reminded of The Go! Team's high-spirited sonic pep. Its keyboard's quick punches take me back to Kirsty MacColl's seductive and strong, "In These Shoes," while the pitch of her voice brings to mind the vocal stylings of Fleming McWilliams of Nashville's Fleming and John.

It's as if all of these artists got together and decided to write the sexiest song ever. I wish I liked the other songs on her MySpace page better. They are nice enough but really pale in comparison to the great hybrid of fun and excitement that is "Take It To Fantastic." Play and smile. Listen and be moved.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Go West!, or 'There's Gold In Them Thar Halls'

Can't sleep. Too much worry on my mind.


I met a woman last week at the hotel. She was beautiful and she had my curiosity immediately. She wasn't obviously one thing or another and I had a sense that she was someone I'd really benefit from talking to.

This guest was tall, thin and had the most charismatic and angular face. It seems that all of the female travelers are pharmaceutical reps nowadays; her face wasn't like theirs. It was free of makeup and I was struck by a deep need to know her story. A recent episode of television's Hotel Babylon focused on the many masks that we wear, guests and staff. And here was a face which conveyed no fear of honesty. Rich, beautiful lines on the interesting face before me revealed to me measures of truth and confidence.

"I'm here for the gold show," she replied when I asked what brought her to my fair city. A jewelry collector, I guessed to myself.

"That's interesting," I politely offered. "How are you affiliated with the show?"

She then satisfied my expectations by telling me that she was a gold prospector. How about that for not a run of the mill answer? I wear a nice uniform with a name tag and I carry people's luggage from their cars to their hotel rooms for a living. Some people conduct board meetings, crunch numbers and create spreadsheets. All of these jobs are important and worthwhile, but they just don't jump out at you like "gold prospector," do they? Maybe in the late-1840s everyone and their mother was doing it, but my high school guidance counselor didn't tell me that prospecting gold was even an option when I graduated in 1989.

Anyway, this guest was here with the Gold Prospectors Association of America. I didn't have time to talk with her as long as I would have liked, but I did get the chance to play interviewer for a minute or so. She told me that she took many expeditions to Alaska and that she absolutely loved everything about what she did. I asked her about modern technology and its factor in her work and she answered that it's pretty much as it's always been -- lots of sifting for gold, simply so. Territories are also mapped out carefully so as not to violate another prospector's space.

Finally, I asked her if it was dangerous at all. She told me that it's really not too bad, but then added with a smile that one does have to be prepared for the occasional bear checking out the scene. Before I could bend her ear any longer, I was called on my radio to help another guest downstairs. Wishing her well and thanking her for staying with us, I went on my way. The best and most obvious question went unasked: How did she get into gold prospecting in the first place? And it only occurs to me now that this might be less career and more expensive, but potentially lucrative, hobby.

Maybe one day I'll find myself up in Alaska, sifting for gold, enjoying the most beautiful night skies I've ever seen, and eating the tastiest, freshest salmon I can imagine. One never knows what the future will bring. Now if I could just stop worrying about money and get some sleep.

Vehicular High-Maintenance

Whatever. Turns out my alternator was in need of replacement. Parts and labor: $250. Depleted savings and relied on a loan I didn't want to need, but now there's a brand new alternator in the Honda.

I drove away and the jumping needles on the dash (speedometer and RPM) were still jumping. Troubleshooting on the way home, I decided that loose wires were being touched by my foot whenever I hit the clutch. Tap with foot = madness ensues on all things dash related. Once home, I played with them some more and now all needles and guages are stuck sky-high. The car drives fine, but my stomach turns just seeing a dash I cannot trust. I guess I'll go back and ask the guy to repair whatever that's all about. Of course, I'm all out of cash, so wish me luck that it's as simple as a no-charge five minute fix.

I'm this close to quitting my hotel job and getting a job at the hospital around the corner. I'm tired of driving anyway.

Trade ya.

Dan Patrick recently left ESPN to start his own venture. That venture is a partnership with Sports Illustrated.

Now Rick Reilly, a regular guest on Dan Patrick's old radio show, is leaving Sports Illustrated to write for ESPN.

Even steven.

Monday, October 22, 2007

More ways to check-in to Nashville

From The Tennessean:

The idea behind the Hotel Indigo West End, which will open Friday, is to offer guests a sense of renewal, developer Richard Goodrum says. The quirky pieces of furniture, the tech-centric design and the fancy amenities are all meant to draw a new set of hotel guests in Nashville... more>>

Click here to see some nice photos of Hotel Indigo in other cities on Flickr.

I suggest they use Nina Simone's beautiful "Mood Indigo" for their telephone hold music.

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head, or 'Water On My Mind'

I'm just another sad guest
on this dark earth

I want to believe
in the mercy of the world again
Make it rain, make it rain!

-Tom Waits, "Make It Rain"

From The Future Is Drying Up, the excellent cover story in this week's New York Times Magazine on water shortages, water-sharing agreements and the overall management of water, scientist Richard Seager says, “You can’t call it a drought anymore, because it’s going over to a drier climate. No one says the Sahara is in drought.”

In the news, Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue wants President Bush to declare 85 counties in north Georgia as federal disaster areas as water resources are at an alarmingly low level. Meanwhile, an Army Corps of Engineers official disagrees with his assessment. Regardless of who's right, one can't help but be bothered by photos of Georgia's much drier than usual Lake Lanier. And with water-sharing agreements, millions of gallons of water continue to be released downstream to southern neighbor Florida where, unlike Georgia, residents are not under water restriction.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I can still hear the thud as it hit the locker room floor.

I dropped the iPod tonight. Even its soft canvas holster case wasn't enough to keep its click-wheel from harm. It still plays, I just can't press the bottom of the click-wheel to turn it off. Thankfully, to save the battery, I can fast-forward to the end of a song or podcast and then wait for it to turn off by itself.

This would normally be a traumatic occurrence for me, but I played with it a bit and decided that I can live with a less than perfect iPod. Anyway, I don't want to spend any money to repair or replace my mini. Not while I'm lusting after the new iPod touch. It'll be my next favorite thing. I thought about the iPhone for a bit, but ultimately decided that I'm just not enough of a phone guy to want that. My basic Samsung flip-phone is just fine, I don't work in advertising, I'm not Drew Domkus, and I'd just be worried about running down my battery playing music and watching videos and not be able to make a call later if I really needed to.

My phone is for emergencies, and my iPod is for making me smile. I think that the iPod touch would make me smile a lot. It may take me a year or more to afford the purchase, but I'll love it and I'll cherish it and I promise that I'll never drop it onto the locker room floor.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Quick Car Update, or, 'Check My Engine Light'

I talked to the guy on the phone this morning and, based on my description of the problem, he thinks I just have a loose wire. Um, that would be the car, not me. (I already know about my loose wires.)

Much worry over what may be nothing more than a $30 repair, or whatever labor would be on a quick fix like that. Maybe no charge at all. I went virtually sleepless the other night worrying about what turned out to be a weak battery on one vehicle and a loose wire on another? Is it time I join the rest of the culture and medicate my way around these worrisome tendencies in my head? I'm neither pro- nor anti-medication, I've just never really considered it for myself. But if I could smile and relax more, I might make for a less stressed out husband and dad.

I'm making an appointment with my doc soon to see if my back pain could possibly be kidney-related. Maybe I'll ask him what he thinks about the above as well. It's getting more and more interesting to be me.

"What county are we in?"

If you work in a hotel and the weather is frightful and guests start calling down asking what county we are in, you know they're watching the weather report.

Of course, thanks to my jazz lovin' Pops, when I hear "weather report," I think:

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thanks for the support.

Big thanks to the commenters on the previous post. I try to keep my whining to a minimum, but I was just overwhelmed yesterday by vehicular concerns. Of course, they wouldn't have affected me as strongly if I didn't always have monetary concerns anyway. I admittedly worry way more than any normal person should. I've got to figure out a way to roll with life's little challenges better, otherwise it'll be death by ulcer for this blogger.

Anyway, after a sleepless night I'm feeling a bit better. The van only needed a battery. Still a steep $120 hit to the wallet, but it could have been worse and I'm thankful that the vehicle that transports wife and kids is back to good. I'll call a dealership where I used to work about mine and see if they think it's clutch related. If so, it might still be under warranty from a previous fix. If it's not that, then maybe it's the battery or the alternator. I can deal with that as well. And if I can't afford the fix immediately, a friend at work who lives near me is happy to be my ride for a week or so.

The only real drag for me is that we just aren't better prepared for these little setbacks. I'm almost forty, I've been in the workforce for almost twenty years, and I don't feel like I've got much to show for it. If my family wasn't so awesome, maybe I wouldn't stress about it so much. But I couldn't have married a more patient and loving woman. She's all kinds of perfect and I want her to have an easier life. Of course, it is what it is and we both continue to work full-time, raise the kids, and barely see each other as we keep kicking around trying to pay the bills and keep the family safe, smart, and strong.

We'll make it. I'd rather have the love than the money rather than the other way around. And thanks again to my friends who read and comment here. You're all invaluable.

When it rains, it pours. Yep.

Seriously. Both cars have issues? At the same time? As broke as we are?

Livin' On A Prayer, indeed.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Punctuation Skills Not Required

Seen on Craigslist:

TIME POSITIONS AVAILABLE for outgoing, dedicated,
dependable professionals who enjoy working with people! LearningRx is a
nation-wide company focused on strengthening weak learning skills. More
effective than tutoring, our trainer's go to the root of the struggle and
actually correct the weaknesses holding students back!

I wonder if they were knock-knock jokes.

Sean Daly of The St. Petersburg Times reviews The Heroin Diaries, Nikki Sixx's account of a year in the life of Motley Crue. The year is 1987 and Nikki's quote from the excerpt below cracks me up.
In a downright hilarious scene, he even treats pal Jon Bon Jovi to a night in a German brothel but can't concentrate because the New Jersey singer, in the bed next to him, won't stop wisecracking: "To say I didn't get my money's worth would be an understatement, unless I was paying Jon Bon Jovi to tell me jokes, in which case I got a pretty good deal."

From Tuva to Dread, Led Zeppelin Rocks. Always.

From All Songs Considered's August 24, 2006 podcast, Tuvan throat singer Albert Kuvezin and band Yat Kha take on Led Zeppelin's "When The Levee Breaks."

I like it but I have to admit that by tackling such a rock staple, it sounds a bit like a novelty item. Tuvan throat singing sounds more interesting when it remains completely separate from anything I've ever heard.

I think I'll just listen to Dread Zeppelin instead.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

It happened just as I had hoped.

NewYorker.com has posted video of Steve Martin talking to New Yorker editor Susan Morrison from The New Yorker Festival.

Sibling Balloons

"Never let go of me?"

"Don't worry. I'll always do my best to keep you safe."

Monday, October 15, 2007

All Chalked Out

Bystander #1: He was just walking along singing a little song and the car drove right up on the curb and hit him! It was terrible!

Bystander #2: If you ask me, I think the driver hit him on purpose. And that song he was singing was annoying as hell.

Police officer: And what song would that be now?

Bystander #2: I don't bloody know. It went something like, "Well, you know my name is Simon, and the things I draw come true." Bet your ass he didn't draw this up for hisself this morning.

They Play Spank Rock Here

click above for what Gawker shot

New Yorker Dance Party with Diplo and
Sasha Frere-Jones

The Plan (And God Laughs)

I'm off tomorrow and claiming the day for myself. For a few hours anyway, no one's parent or spouse. And I'm getting the hell out of the house.

With early Tom Waits albums queued up on the iPod and camera in hand, I'll wander about aimlessly in my city's downtown. I'll take a hundred pictures and hope for ten or so good ones. Sasha Frere-Jones and his photography will be on my mind as I snap away. He's my unknowing mentor.


It's after midnight and I just woke up from a late night nap I hadn't intended to take. Now wide awake and perusing blogs in a living room whose only sound is that of this laptop's hum, I have a Dylan song in my head. Well, I have a small bit of the song moving around up there, evading proper detection. Its lyrics? I can't pin them down. Not one word. I just have this little break-neck piece of the song on loop and it sounds groovy. But when I try to break the loop and take it to a part where I might know some words, I keep taking it to a Peter Himmelman song that I like.

As it happens, Peter Himmelman is Bob Dylan's son-in-law. It's nice that my otherwise scattered brain is keeping things in the family here, but this still doesn't help me find the title to the song in my head.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

This Blogger Minimalist Thwarted

Too many passwords, too little personal benefit for having to remember them.

I've deleted my Facebook account. I'll delete my MySpace account (and its annoying viruses) as soon as I get the email address of a friend of mine who lives in Florida. But Twitter? I've been trying to delete that one for three days now and I always get the same reply:
503 Service Unavailable: The server is currently unable to handle the request due to a temporary overloading or maintenance of the server.
Whatever. I guess I can always just ignore it and exist there without logging in again. But it'll be hard for me to think of myself as a minimalist (humor me - I'll still have email and blog) while knowing that a Twitter account remains.


From The New Yorker:

The Swami himself, wearing a white cotton dhoti kurta, walked to the podium and regarded his audience for a moment in silence.

“Stress!” he declared in a dramatic undertone, his hands clutching the lectern. The room hushed; the Young Presidents chewed their roast beef very quietly.

“Stress is entirely an internal phenomenon!” Parthasarathy shouted. “You are the architect of your fortune, you are the architect of your misfortune. Don’t blame the stars! Blame yourself! A man goes to his lawyer to divorce his wife and says, ‘What’s the fee?’ ‘Five thousand dollars.’ ‘How long it takes?’ ‘Six months.’ ‘I pay you ten thousand dollars, you make it three months.’ Another man is desperately waiting to marry the same lady! What’s this? The lady is the same who produces agony to one and ecstasy to another! Therefore I put it to you for your consideration: stress is in you. Period.”

The Swami said he would not... more>>

Well, I'll Be An Uncle's Monkey

My wife proudly took our four-year-old to his first Georgia Bulldog football game. I, of course, think of it as his first Vandy game. Parental biases aside, Joshua had the big time hanging with family and friends as the Bulldogs took on Nashville's Vanderbilt Commodores.

Sitting "on the shoulders of giants" (Uncle Ev and friends are all 6'5" plus), he took in the game better than I expected he might. Despite the 5 P.M. kickoff, he hung in there to the end with rapt attention to the on-field goings-on, with small breaks for a seemingly insatiable appetite for pizza and popcorn.

Alas, the game resulted in yet another Commodore loss. Joshua felt none of my pain though. He loved every minute of the contest. When I asked him this morning what his favorite part of the game was, expecting his answer to refer mainly to his more immediate surroundings instead of the game itself, he responded with, "I liked when they threw the football and I liked it when they catched [sic] the football."

I'm happy that he had such a good time at his first football game. Of course, since this is my blog and not hers, I'll end with...Go Dores!!!

(pictured: Ev, Joshua, and Granddad)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog comes to The Basement

Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog will perform at The Basement this Friday night at 9:00. I work this Friday night until 11:00. Ugh.

Marc Ribot has brought his fine and expressive guitar work to stellar albums by Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, and The Lounge Lizards. I've bought several of his solo albums over the years and loved them all. His first, Rootless Cosmopolitans, still takes me back to that time, in 1990, when my music ears were at their biggest. Nothing was too strange and everything was beautiful.

Now I'll have to see if it's at all possible to finally see him live as he brings Ceramic Dog to Nashville. Here's hoping for a very late start to the show.

From the Marc Ribot website:

Ceramic Dog

Thank you to everyone who came to Ceramic Dog concerts in Europe in March. The band will be back in Europe for another tour next year.

Ceramic Dog
1. chien du faience: expression: frozen with emotion, as in the perfectly still moment before a fight breaks out.
2. Ultimate kitsch object.
3. A free/punk/funk/experimental/psychedelic/post electronica collective, featuring Marc (Cubanos Postizos, John Zorn, Tom Waits, etc etc), plus two of the best young players on the New York/California underground improv/experimental rock scene, Shazad Ismailly (bass) and Chess Smith (drums)
4. Not a 'project': a real band.

"Marc Ribot's new power trio, filled out by the remarkable versatile rhythm team of bassist Shahzad Ismaily and drummer Ches Smith, is his rawest band in ages." (TimeOut NY)

Brian Regan comes back to Nashville

Performing at the Ryman Auditorium on November 8, the very funny Brian Regan.

I saw him at Zanies about six years ago with a friend of mine and a girl I was dating at the time. I no longer see that girl, but that friend of mine and I have yet to have a conversation where we don't work in some of Brian Regan's material. "Take luck!"

Check out Brian Regan: Standing Up, his latest stand-up special, on Comedy Central on October 16.

Uga VI and friends

(picture taken by my wife and proud UGA grad, Paige)

Monday, October 08, 2007

The princess trades in her crown for a fishing hat.

Raggle-Taggle Gypsy

There were three young gypsies came to our hall door,
They came brave and boldly O.
And there's one sang high and the other sang low
And the Lady's seen the raggle-taggle gypsy O

It was upstairs and downstairs the Lady went
Put on her suit of leather, O
It was the cry all around her door
She's away with the raggle-taggle gypsy O

It was late last night that the lord came in,
Inquiring for his a-lady O
The serving girls replied to him all
She's away with the raggle-taggle gypsy O.

O then saddle for me me milk-white steed
Me big horse is not speedy O
I will ride and I'll seek my bride,
She's away with the raggle-taggle gypsy O.

O then he rode east, and he rode west
He rode north and south also,
But when he rode to the wide open field,
It was there that he spied his a-lady O.

O then why do you leave your house and your land?
Why do you leave you money, O?
And why do you leave your only only-wedded lord,
All for a raggle-taggle gypsy O?

What do I care for me house and me land?
What do I care for money,O?
And what do I care for me only-wedded lord,
I'm away with the raggle-taggle gypsy O!

Well it was there last night you'd a goosefeather bed,
With blankets drawn so comely, O.
Tonight you'll lie in a wide open field,
In the arms of your raggle-taggle gypsy, O.

What do I care for a goose-feather bed,
With blankets drawn so comely, O?
Tonight I'll lie in a wide open field,
In the arms of me raggle-taggle gypsy, O.

Often you rode east when I rode west
You rode high when I rode low
I'd rather have a kiss of the yellow gypsy's lips
Than all of the cashier's money, O.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Scarlett Johansson, when's the album coming out?

I've been waiting with bated breath for her Tom Waits covers release. Some scoff, but I'm envisioning a very sexy, sultry Diana Krall-ish treatment of his "beautiful maladies."

Once an early October release, the date has come and gone. When, in industry-speak, does it drop?

Casting directors take note:

If your movie requires a four-year-old boy who laughs like a smartass Swingers-era Vince Vaughan and a younger sister who has that classic dumb guy laugh, then have I got the pair for you.

They're bringing hapless back.

Opposing offenses move the ball with such ease, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis can't even keep his head straight from the wind effect.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Three Dalmations

What do you do? Oh, sorry I asked.

"And for many people, asking what someone does for a living is still considered as rude as asking how much their apartment costs."

Really? I've asked that question of a lot of people and never thought that it might be taken as a rude question. Interesting article.

My Two Cents

A couple of months ago, Blogger announced that it was making it easier for you to find bloggers with similar interests as noted on their profile pages.
Say you live in Albuquerque, count the Smashing Pumpkins among your favorite bands, and like sushi. Starting today, we’re making it easy for you to find other bloggers who share your interests. ...more>>
That's pretty cool and I've enjoyed the fact that I can go to my profile page, click my city and find a list of other bloggers in my city, or I can click Peter Himmelman as featured as one of my favorite artists and find bloggers who have him featured as well. But what would really make this special is a way to check multiple keywords (say "Nashville" and "Peter Himmelman") to find local bloggers who like the same things.

Friday, October 05, 2007

What I Know

When a four-year-old is sick with what may or may not be thrush and all prescribed dosages have been met, with all offers of popsicles and yogurt exhausted, all that's left to do is to hold him while he cries and wish like anything that his pain was solely your own to contend with.

What We're Doing This Weekend

My Thursday night shift has come to a close and I don't go back to work until Monday afternoon. My beautiful wife is off to the mountains of Georgia for her annual girls' weekend. (Of course, for all I know, she spends these little retreats actually partying it up with college boys in Atlanta. I'm at peace with that, too.) In truth, except for three hours of watching her Georgia Bulldogs as they take on the Tennessee Vols, it'll be a quiet weekend of reading books and catching up on old times for her. This is the one time in the year when she gets to take a respite from the daily duties of educating and parenting, not to mention cleaning up after me. I hope she has a wonderful time.

This leaves me with a fun weekend with the kids. Her mom is coming up to help out and will continue to visit for the duration of Fall Break. Cool. It's nice that there will still be someone here to clean up after me. Hopefully, we can all get out and enjoy the outdoors a bit. We'll be sure to get some time in at the local playground. The library should be graced by our presence as well. We'll make the all too rare drive to Franklin to visit with my mom Friday afternoon. (Hey Mom! We're getting a new employee at the hotel next week. I hear that she's from Hawaii. I'll have to ask her which island and then let you tell me what you remember about it.)

Beyond that, I don't have any plans set in stone for the weekend. There are some good college games on, but I'm not wild about college football. I pull for Vandy, but being a realist I know to always keep my emotions in check no matter how promising their season seems to be. I'll pull for Georgia just because. And I'm not allowed to ever root for Florida if I want this marriage to last. I think I may leave the kids with my mother-in-law Sunday though so that I can watch the Titans play uninterrupted. I can't remember the last time I watched them play when I could focus solely on the game at hand. Either I have to turn it off at halftime to go to work, or various parenting duties play a role in taking me away from the television. This could be the best Sunday yet. (Dad? Watching the game? Care to invite me to join you?)

What else? I guess that's it. Here's a picture of my dog. She's a good girl. Yes, she is.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Tales from the Teachers' Lounge

Robert Wilder's Tales from the Teachers' Lounge is absolutely dominating my reading time lately. I am surrounded by teachers in my family and am well aware of how impossibly tough of a career the teaching profession can be. I honestly don't see how they do it every day.

My own job can be pretty thankless and stressful, but at least I leave it at the time clock pretty easily. It never stops for the teacher. If it's not the kids, it's the administration. If it's not the administration, it's the parents. My dad once got out of a speeding ticket when the cop found out that he was a Metro school teacher and felt his pain.

Robert Wilder gets it right. He's funny and charming suffers gladly in his role as educator to our children. He's Rick Reilly in a classroom, always going for the laugh, always speaking from the heart.

Whether you're a teacher, a parent, or maybe a student who needs to know just what your teachers go through all day, pick up Tales from the Teachers' Lounge and smile.

Out of the blue, she said...

My wife just gave my daughter some apple sauce that is blue in color.

"Momma," she announced gleefully. "It's kind of blue!"

I love it when I hear album titles shouted out like that. Especially classic ones like that one.

Jonell sings "When I Write The Book"

Instead of driving to the library to see Jonell Mosser today before work, I'll just hang around the house and color with the kids.

Anyway, here's a taste of how awesome she is:

Don't worry about me. I'm only venting.

The job's not paying the bills, but I stay for the health insurance that I can't afford the co-pays for. I've got two more physical therapy sessions next week at $25 per visit. Five nights a week, I eat tuna fish straight out of the can with a plastic fork in the employee cafeteria like a hobo by a railroad track. Family members all around me celebrate birthdays and it's all I can do to send them a card or give them a call. Of course, they're cool with that, but still...I'm not.

Enough venting, I've got lots of reasons for smiling. In a year or two, we'll make the move to Florida. On that little beach town, I can work at the ritzy hotel if I'm still doing that hospitality thing for a living. I see myself driving a scooter as my primary means of transportation. The island is small - 1.5 miles wide and 13 miles long. Even if money remains tight and the job isn't entirely fulfilling, there's always the wonderful therapy of taking a moment each day and looking out across the ocean. Sand between my toes, Dylan singing in my ears, and perspective and peace in my heart, my solace awaits.

How To Really Wake Up (Must Have Kids)

Four easy steps:
  1. Stumble into living room and sit in chair half-asleep while the children play.
  2. Shuffle into kitchen like zombie and make chocolate milk in cup with no lid for daughter. (The rule: If the cup has no lid, the child must drink it in kitchen.)
  3. Return to living room chair and proceed to read blogs while paying no attention to daughter's total disregard for the rules as they relate to cups with no lids.
  4. Launch laptop and self upwards with a yelp toward the ceiling as an overturned cup of cold chocolate milk (with no lid) finds itself totally in lap and onto chair.
Related: How To Really Clean A Chair? I just scrub hard with wet cloths and hope for the best.