Friday, October 31, 2008

For Makenzie

My wife knows a little girl who recently underwent surgery to have a malignant brain tumor removed. Her name is Makenzie and she is currently receiving radiation treatments.

For more information and to help if you can, click Makenzie's Page.

Vanderbilt's Lacrosse team is excited to help. (Lacrosse team reaches out to local child)

Corn Maze? Corn Walk In The Park.

We went to a pumpkin patch yesterday. It was a field trip for my kindergartener and his class and we had the big time. We rode the hayride (sans hay). We pet the goats, learned about farm animals, and each kid got to pick a pumpkin to take home.

The thing I was most excited about was the corn maze. In all of my years, I had never walked through one before. Here was my opportunity. Well, a challenge it was not. Granted, the organizers maybe had their reasons for keeping it simple. There were hundreds of kids from various schools there and time might have been a factor. The kids were all little and maybe no one wanted to deal with the chance that some kids would get lost and afraid. I get that. Still, I was underwhelmed.

We had a leader. The leader, quite familiar with each correct turn, kept a quick pace and made no attempt to even pretend to get confused. We were far back in a line of maybe thirty people or so and simply followed the long and winding line before us. Thus, my first experience in a corn maze was that of walking briskly behind a line of, well, brisk walkers. The corn maze experience lasted maybe all of a minute and a half. I got separated from my kid at the entrance and didn't even get to talk to him as we made our way through.

Maybe on a different day this would be different. Maybe if it was just my small family going through it alone and not hundreds of school kids, teachers, and parents descending upon the small maze for the big field trip, then the experience might have been more of a fun challenge. My criticism aside, the kids had big fun. It was for them less about the concept of a maze and more about the fun of walking around amidst tall, brown corn stalks. Their fun, of course, is the point. They had a blast.

Fun Day at Pumpkin Patch with Wife and Kid


Feel Good Friday - Clean It Up

I found a nice little video by the Nashville Hikers Meet Up Group on YouTube while looking around for something to post for Feel Good Friday. It's good people cleaning up litter and having a good time doing it. Imagine my surprise to see my friend and coworker, Nashville's Metropolitan Beautification & Environment Commission neighborhood liaison, Lawrence Jackson in one of the slide show photos.

He and the Nashville Hikers Group are doing their part to help keep our city clean of unsightly litter on Bell Road near the Percy Priest Dam. I've walked the six mile stretch from home to work that is included in the photos in the clip and I've noticed the trash at my feet. It's just so unnecessary, of course.

Anyway, my thanks to the Nashville Hikers Group and to our own Beautification & Environment Commission for doing so much work to keep our city clean. Civic pride and volunteerism make me feel good on this Friday.

Check for more information on appreciating and benefiting from what Nashville has to offer.

With Parenthesis

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Black Books Outtakes

I'm posting this because it makes my wife laugh. And also to see how this video looks in Google Reader.


Tom Waits - "Time"

I can't figure out what's up with the way that whenever I embed a video into my blog, it comes up as just a bunch of code in Google Reader. I switched templates thinking that was the deal, but it wasn't. User error maybe? There aren't enough steps in the process for me to think I'm doing something wrong.

Oh well. If any of you have an idea of how I can fix this little complaint of mine, I'm all ears.

In the meantime, here's a song that's been dancing in my head all evening. If you're reading this in your Google Reader, I bet it's all code, huh?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

So, MTV is putting all of its videos online? looks promising. Over sixteen thousand videos online so far and all available for embedding. No Tom Waits yet (my first search), but the list grows every day.

Oh, the stories this beautiful piano could tell. Oh, the stories it does.

Simply and Aptly Put

There's something almost poetic in the following quote by Raheem Brock of the Colts after their 31-21 loss to our Tennessee Titans. For me, it just sums up a football team's difficult loss so very succinctly.

"We just made little mistakes that cost us," Brock said. "To see it, to see how easy it is, it's hard."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Which one's Pink?

Barbara at Layla's Classic Rock blog posted tonight about the possibility of Led Zeppelin touring without Robert Plant. His heart just isn't in playing it loud anymore, but Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones sure would like to make some noise playing the old faves and why not bill it as Led Zeppelin with or without Plant? It just doesn't seem the sacrilege to me that it might have fifteen years ago. It would have bugged the heck out of me back then, but I didn't blink an eye at those "old" bands like The Four Tops, The Temptations, or any other Motown band touring with maybe only one or two of the original members in the lineup. But then I didn't feel like I was raised on their music like I was Led Zeppelin.

Anyway, Journey doesn't need Steve Perry to fill arenas and Styx doesn't require the vocals of Dennis DeYoung to play "Babe" and "Mr. Roboto" to those of us nostalgic for those hits. Yes is touring without the aid (but with the blessing) of Jon Anderson this year. Found their guy on YouTube in a Yes tribute band much like Judas Priest did when they replaced Rob Halford for a short period. I guess if I wanted to, I could even buy the new Queen album featuring Paul Rodgers at the mic.

At least with that one, it's a bit easier to bear as its own artistic endeavor because they're not merely replacing Freddie Mercury but rather moving on and making new music together. Still, I wouldn't go to that show and feel like I really and truly saw Queen in concert.

But fun is fun and I'd see all of these bands for whom introducing their singer isn't just a formality but indeed an answer to a crowd's honest query. I think I'm pretty laid back about it all. Call the band what you're legally allowed to call the band and if you play the hits then I'm happy to just roll with it and enjoy the songs. Just don't get me started on the whole Pink Floyd-Roger Waters thing. I'm holding onto stubborn and saying that Waters was right.

Daughter and Dad, Goofing Around

Candy Break

Friday, October 24, 2008

Feel Good Friday - "In A Big Country"

I met them once. Backstage after a show at TPAC. Wild rock stars? Nope. It was someone's birthday and all I recall seeing was cake and Sprite.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A blogger friend is on the front page of the New York Times

Lori Stewart, writer of This Just In, was interviewed and photographed for the New York Times in their front page story on the cost of prescription drugs in this tough economy. Her mother suffers from Alzheimer's Disease and, as Lori states in the article, the medication is "literally one-fifth of her income."

It's an important read on a topic that affects so many hard-working families. My best to Lori and everyone else who has to make such tough choices in matters so important. Click below for the story by Stephanie Saul.

Some Cut Back on Prescription Drugs in Sour Economy 

I Close My Eyes And I Go To Amelia Island

    Photo by flickr user kate-eh 

Fernandina Beach. Amelia Island. It's where Paige and I got married. It's where the in-laws live, most of them anyway. It's where we go to visit family and it's where I always most easily clear my head and learn to relax and smile.

I remember reading about the "Beach Lady" of American Beach, such an interesting figure in African-American history, in Smithsonian magazine (June 2003) and being so moved in respect and wonder the first time I spent an afternoon exploring the area. I felt nearly reverential walking around her community that day, taking pictures of old homes and listening to the ocean's waves gently falling and respectfully sliding up to the shore. Read about the community's founder A. L. Lewis here.

Fernandina Beach is where I've gotten my favorite shots of my kids. They've never gotten too crazy about the ocean, but the beach is always good for building sandcastles and experiencing views they just don't get here in Tennessee. Ari's never too happy to get sand on her skin, but I hear princesses and divas can be like that.

If we're lucky and Paige can get a teaching job that she likes, we'll likely move down there in the next year or two. There's also a very nice Ritz-Carlton on the beach where I'd probably work if I'm still doing the hotel industry thing then. As I've written about before, I want to ultimately own a scooter and it's the perfect little beach town for such a vehicle. Heck, at two miles across at its widest point and thirteen miles long, a nice bicycle would suffice. Sure looks like easy living from here.

(I saw the photo above and loved it so much I just had to share it. What I wrote was merely an excuse to share the shot.)

Smart Daughter

All in one breath she said, "Will you buy me that Cinderella kitchen? It's kind of heavy. Are you strong enough to carry it, Dad?"

Tell me she doesn't know how to phrase things to work a conversation in her favor. Of course I'm strong enough. I can carry it. And I'll prove it by buying it for her.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Voting With A Five-Year-Old

We're driving to the library so that I can participate in early voting. He's five and has just gotten back from doing the same thing with his mom. He asks me a question from his backseat car seat.

"Daddy, who is the leader of America right this minute?"

I reply, "President Bush."

"And we're voting for one of the two other guys because he's tired of being the leader?"

"Well, actually..." And I give him my best 60-second answer about things like term limits and such. I talk about how no one can be president forever and that we take turns, kind of like how he and his sister must take turns doing things. I finish and look forward to answering any follow-up questions he might have.



"If you get a dead ant and put chocolate on it, it will taste like chocolate."

And the rest of our conversation was a lot more fun.

Point Up And Shoot

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Evidence Of My Youth

On the General Jackson:

Opryland I.D.:

Yearbook Photo:

And the two that I almost didn't post. These were from a photo shoot assignment at Two Rivers Mansion for my high school photography class. Hot biceps, huh?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Look out, Vandy.

It looks like Georgia's got a spy at the Parthenon.

Maybe Sam?

I was thinking of my grandfather yesterday and decided that his middle name, Samuel, might make for a nice first name for our yet-to-be-born tyke. I ran it by my wife and she liked it as well. So for now it's at the top of our list of baby names for boys. I like the idea of honoring my grandfather in some way and this one feels good.

Incidentally, if our baby is a girl, Samantha Beziat is now at the top of that gender's list.

Feel Good Friday -"Desert"

As I thought I might, I'm posting a video and song by Emile Simon for Feel Good Friday. Enjoy the sensuousness of her voice and the weirdness of the video.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

If I was in New York...

In the Night Life listings in this week's New Yorker there is the most interesting photo of French singer Emilie Simon. Her hair is long and dark, her gown is both simple and elegant, the backdrop is a very sexy red, and on her arm is, well, a musical instrument made just for her which looks appears to be disguised as a leather armband. The photo, assuming The New Yorker and the photographer don't mind, is below.


She is playing each Wednesday at the Cutting Room through October 22. I'd be there to hear her if I could. I just may share something from her for Feel Good Friday tomorrow. My French kick continues.

What he doesn't know is that really I'm afraid of his mom.

I said, "Josh, when my favorite team plays against your mom's favorite team on Saturday, Mommy and I will be rooting for different teams."

"What if Momma's team beats your team?"

"Well, I guess I won't be her friend anymore."

Laughing he offered, "You're just kidding, 'cause you two are in love."

He knows it.

Still... Go Dores!!

Saturday, 11:30 CST

No. 22 Vanderbilt at No. 10 Georgia

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Do I sometimes overanalyze? Sometimes, yes.

"Can I live with you guys?" This is what my 5-year-old son asked me while he was pretending to be the guy who was building my house. "My people don't love me anymore."

Yikes. No matter the age or the game, it stings a bit to hear your kid say such a thing. It makes me wonder where a statement like that comes from. He had been out of control earlier in the morning and I had sent him to his room. Was he still dealing with that on some level?

"Sure you can live with us," I answered. "Who are your people?"


Here's thinking all is well.

Monday, October 13, 2008

My Little Guy

Sometimes he's as sweet as his sister.

My son took my hand and kissed the palm and said, "My kiss will go to your heart and that means I will go with you wherever you go."

He paused, stepped back and added:

"But not actually. Just the kiss will go with you. I'll just stay here but you can think of me."

Friday, October 10, 2008

Feel Good Friday - "The Whole of the Moon"

While working at Turtle's Records in the early '90s, one of my best friends was Kirk. We went to countless concerts and shows together, usually for free thanks to the good label reps who were so generous with putting guys like us on door lists. There were road trips to Atlanta and endless Nashville nights hitting venues such as Exit/In, Grapevine Cafe, 328 Performance Hall, Ace of Clubs, 12th and Porter, etc. We'd also drink all night at Rio Bravo talking about bands and albums and shows and songs and radio stations and record stores.

Thanks to Kirk, I know about The Waterboys, World Party, Luka Bloom, and Billy Bragg. He liked a lot of stuff, but it was very important to him that everyone know how great The Waterboys were. He was right. I was hooked from probably the first song I heard. Anyway, here they are singing "The Whole of the Moon." It's pretty awesome.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Again With Names

My daughter wants us to name the new baby Halle if it's a girl. Of all the names we've been tossing around, that one really sounded good to me. I looked at my wife to get her opinion. "No," she said. Apparently, she has a friend who has a baby with the that name and so naming her own child the same goes against the rules.


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Let's keep playing.

It's good to have the family back.

We were all rough-housing this morning and Ari fell from the couch onto the floor.

Me: Whoa! Honey, are you okay? That was quite a fall.

Ari: I didn't fall. I just landed. It was a soft landing. Let's keep playing.

Joshua Draws

Joshua drew a picture of his family at school the other day. Pictured are his sister, his mom, his dad, and his soon-to-be little brother or little sister. Cute.

"I Think It's Going To Rain Today"

I only recently learned that this song was written by Randy Newman.

It might be one of my favorite songs ever. Here's Nina Simone.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Yes We Can

Dukakis once. Clinton twice. Gore once. Kerry once.

I feel like I've been an adult for so long, and yet I've only experienced five presidential elections since being old enough to vote. I'm batting under .500 in voting for the winners. Let's hope that this cycle raises my percentage a bit.

I almost missed out this time. Since moving back to Davidson County from Rutherford, I only just yesterday got my registration in. That was the last day I could have done it or I would have been ineligible. Tennessee tends to go Republican so I don't feel my absence would have been too significant, however, I would have been a bit sick missing out on exercising that little right of mine.

It's a big night for the candidates and a proud night for Nashville. I'm looking forward to watching tonight's Town Hall debate at Belmont University. Well, I've got tickets to see Sweeney Todd, so I'll catch the debate when I get home afterward.

My buddy Corey at Webbspun Ideas would like to welcome both candidates to our fair city. Heeeere's Corey.

Sweeney Todd

I'm looking forward to seeing Sweeney Todd tonight. Early word is that the Tennessee Repertory Theatre's staging of this is, as always, stellar and an absolute joy. It is at TPAC's Johnson Theater and performed by a wonderful cast whose singing talent is "a pleasure on the ear." (The Tennessean)

Heh. I just noticed that American Red Cross and Tennessee Rep are having a blood drive on Saturday, October 11 . Donate blood and get ten bucks off. Go to to schedule your appointment and enter SWEENEYTODD.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


I now know that it takes 15 minutes to walk from my workplace to the closest liquor store.

The Mark West Pinot Noir that a friend recommended is very good. Straight from the bottle. Bukowski would be proud. Pinot for the people!

Vandy is a force to be reckoned with. I'm thinking they won for MonsterMash40. She was there and she cheered and they won. It's just that simple.

My wife and kids are in beautiful Sunbright, TN. I am not. My wife and kids are awesome and I miss them.

Went to Schermerhorn Symphony Center to see McCoy Tyner the other night. It was wonderful. Except for the vertigo. For most of the show, I fought through it and sat in my chair by the railing and tried to ignore the part of me that was freaking out. It was finally too much to bear and I moved to an empty seat farther from the stage but so much better for my, um, condition. McCoy Tyner was wonderful. Big thanks to my pop for buying me the ticket. It made for a great night out.

John McCain is apparently a maverick. George Bush is the kind of guy you'd like to drink a beer with. Your president shouldn't necessarily be a guy you'd like to drink a beer with. Your president shouldn't necessarily be a maverick.

My dad treated me to dinner at Hot Kabob's on White Bridge Road Friday night. The salmon kabob with rice was out of this world. Go, spend little, eat big. Hot Kabob's.

I've got a photo shoot for a friend Tuesday. I'm nervous as hell about it. Friends and family compliment my photography often, but it's so much easier to point the camera at a building or at oneself than at a person who's counting on big success with each click. I like her and she likes me so that should help. Still, I'm stressing. It's what I do. Yay, stress! She's beautiful. I hope I catch that with my camera. Her beautiful roommate is along for the ride. Great. Nothing like the pressure of being both a good photographer and a cool dude to make my Tuesday full of awesomeness. (I'm gonna pretend I'm Chris Wage and hope that the magic happens.)

For some, tipping the kind and helpful bellman is standard operating procedure. For others, saying, "I don't have any cash on me. You know how it is," is good enough. I dedicate my current financial situation to others.

No proofreading tonight. Opera on my TV, Mark West Pinot West in my belly, rap music from the parking lot outside my window. It's all good. It's a blog. It makes me smile.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Little Honey

I was skeptical when I heard that Lucinda Williams was covering AC/DC's "It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Want To Rock and Roll)" on her new record. I haven't heard that track yet, but after hearing the rocking "Honey Bee" from her forthcoming Little Honey, I can't wait.

Watch a video of her talking about the new album here .

She's playing at Nashville's War Memorial on October 17.

Vows Remembered

I accept you Paige,
as a person, and as my wife,
with your strengths and your weaknesses.
I promise to be loyal to you in health
or illness,
to share what I have and who I am,
to love enough to risk being hurt,
to trust when I misunderstand,
to weep with you in sorrow,
to celebrate with you in joy,
and to live with you in reverence.

Friday, October 03, 2008

"Charlie on the M.T.A."

Kingston Trio founding member Nick Reynolds, passed away Wednesday at the age of 75. What I know of the Kingston Trio is what I've heard my dad play over the years. Whether on family road trips as he'd kick back in the back of the station wagon playing his guitar or on stage with the Nashville Folk Project at Mulligan's on 2nd Avenue, he'd always entertain and educate us kids on the music of his youth. I think it was old Kingston Trio records that got him interested in learning how to play guitar in the first place.

Here's my favorite Kingston Trio song, "Charlie on the M.T.A. " I hope I never meet the same fate as poor Charlie.

This Hermit Steps Out Tonight

Photo by flickr user, Travis Hightower Imaging
by Creative Commons Attribution

Thanks to my cool and generous pop, I'll be at the McCoy Tyner concert tonight at Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center. I haven't decided yet if I'll take the bus or really live it up and drive my wife's van. The bus will be cheaper, but the last one back from downtown leaves at 10:15 and I'm not sure I want to be checking my watch if the performance runs close to two hours.

With Nine Inch Nails on Halloween and Sweeney Todd next week (if I can find my tickets!!), October is looking to be quite the month of social events for me.

Enjoy your weekend.

Feel "Folksy" Friday - "If I Had A Hammer"

Palin ain't "folksy." Peter, Paul, & Mary are.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Various levels of talent.

Five seasoned rock 'n' roll roadies formed a band called Rocko and the Devils. I like the sentence below, from their bio.
"It is a group of five musicians of various levels of talent and diverse musical influence dedicated to the idea that musical performance is the greatest thing in the universe."

Enjoy Rocko and the Devils!