Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Observances and Discoveries

There is that appearance of calm and of peace across the water at the dam. The sky above it appears as quiet and still as I drive home in those soft, early minutes of everyone else's tomorrow. I, too, from some distance seem to have the same qualities on display. Better to observe from afar.

[Three paragraphs of navel-gazing deleted. You've been spared. Instead, happier stuff...]

While listening to the Vic Chestnutt station on Pandora tonight, I discovered the wildly hypnotic voice of singer-songwriter Jose Gonzalez. I'm hooked and am in full dig-up-and-listen-to-everything-he's-ever-done mode.

My shift was long and difficult tonight, but in a rare moment of fun I met a photographer who absolutely captivated me with his tales of taking pictures out in Rocky Mountain National Park with his infrared lens. He's also the photographer who took so many of those great shots of U2 during their stunning Red Rocks show in 1983. You can see his pictures at I'm very much in awe of his talents and I wish him nothing but the best. He's a great guy.

Thanks as always for stopping by to read whatever it is that I write.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Apps for my birthday?

A month or so ago, my lovely wife informed me that there were refurbished iPhones available to us for only $49.99 each. I'm the skeptical sort and pressed her for any details that might reveal it to be a too-good-to-be-true deal. The more we looked into it though, the more it looked like a legit and good idea. "Refurbished" doesn't scare me as long as there is a warranty and looking at its specs proved it to be quite the suitable upgrade from my current No Internet cell phone.

Still looking for a reason that this was too good to be true, I questioned whether or not we could afford the data plan. Again she reassured me that it was a good idea. This phones with Internet was pretty much the same monthly cost as our current ones without. The only issue now was patience. I qualified for an upgrade, but she wasn't due for one until December 18th. Cool enough. I could wait until my birthday for us to make the order online. What better day anyway to get me what I wanted so much. All of those apps! gpsAssassin! And all of that other stuff that makes it so cool to have an iPhone.

Then came the 16th of December when we checked the AT&T site again. Out of stock. Figures. No iPhones for us. At least not right now. I suppose we can just keep checking the site and jump at it if and when they're available again. It's just as well maybe. We're pretty poor these days and I imagine it's got to be pretty hard to garner any sympathy for that while possessing cool iPhones.

As it is, we're happy with what we have. I just thought it was funny.

Not too ugly for forty, just sleepy.

I promise to smile a bit next time.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Peace and Love

It's the day after Thanksgiving and I'm thankful for many things. Not the least of which, I'm thankful for everything my mom's ever given to me, starting with life and ongoing.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Glitter and Doom, purchased

I didn't know too much about it. I did know that it was a double CD and so I expected that I might have to pay upward of $24 for it. The second CD is comprised solely of Waits talking to various audiences and sharing his tall tales. Nice and somewhat funny, but mostly, eh. The perfect stuff is on the first CD. Live performances from his Glitter and Doom tour of 2008.

The good people at Grimey's are selling it for only $9.99 (yesterday's price anyway) and it is an absolute must-have for any Tom Waits fan.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Glitter and Doom

1. Lucinda / Ain't Goin Down (Birmingham 07/03/08)
2. Singapore (Edinburgh 07/28/08)
3. Get Behind The Mule (Tulsa 06/25/08)
4. Fannin Street (Knoxville 06/29/08)
5. Dirt In The Ground (Milan 07/19/08)
6. Such A Scream (Milan 07/18/08)
7. Live Circus (Jacksonville 07/01/08)
8. Goin' Out West (Tulsa 06/25/08)
9. Falling Down (Paris 07/25/08)
10. The Part You Throw Away (Edinburgh 07/28/08)
11. Trampled Rose (Dublin 08/01/08)
12. Metropolitan Glide (Knoxville 6/29/08)
13. I'll Shoot The Moon (Paris 07/24/08)
14. Green Grass (Edinburgh 07/27/08)
15. Make It Rain (Atlanta 07/05/08)
16. Story (Columbus 06/28/08)
17. Lucky Day (Atlanta 07/05/08)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Happier Things

I have yet to create a Pandora station that plays French pop music the way I want. No matter how much Serge I put in there, it keeps giving me back lots of '50s American tunes. AccuRadio, however, has a few stations devoted to various subgenres within French Pop: femmes, monsieurs, pre-1960s, and sixties and beyond. So far, the pre-1960s category is perfect for my weird ears.

I don't know how to blog anymore. We link, right? Well, here's the funniest thing I read all night: Makes The Dog Mad. Thanks to the always wonderful Newscoma for that little ditty. She was at this year's Artrageous and I wish I was, too. My only time attending was either in 2000 or 2001. A hotel guest gave me a couple of tickets and my girlfriend and I had a fantastic time supporting the cause and dancing (badly, in my case) to the music.

Thanks again (and again and again) to my mom for generously buying me a car so that I don't have to walk everywhere anymore. Now it's up to me to use this new "mobile device," as Nissan likes to call it, to acquire a second job and bring in a bit more bank for the family. I'm also looking at the Hands On Nashville site a lot more and thinking of ways that I might be able to be better involved in things that help the community. I'm no longer limited to what's in walking distance and that's a very good thing.

I just hope that I can figure out how to make a bit (read: a lot) more money in this world so that I can better provide for those so close to me. Speaking of close to me, here's a pic I like of a kid named Sam.


Forgive the melancholy. Forgive me coupling simple songs to sickening news stories. Usually I don't pay much mind to reports of missing children, but I clicked and read this story and, well, you know. The world can be beautiful and it can be ugly as hell.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sibling Dynamic

Duck at Percy Priest

Holley Maher and Pol Buckingham at French Quarter Cafe

I took my hermit self to French Quarter Cafe on Wednesday night to hear the lovely Holley Maher and her band. Man, I miss doing stuff like that on a regular basis. I know her songs from her myspace page and think she's a terrific songwriter. Live, however, there is that magic of watching it all come out for just that one special room of music lovers that cannot be equaled by clicking play at home.

Playing the whole "sounds like" game, I was reminded of a sound somewhere between Aimee Mann and Lily Allen, but heavier on the Aimee Mann.(I just searched for Holley Maher on YouTube and the top clip is her own arrangement of Lily Allen's "Smile.") Give Holley Maher a listen and better yet, support her live shows when you can. Her songs are wonderful.

One delightful surprise from my night out was hearing earlier act Pol Buckingham. This is what I love about Nashville. On a night where the CMAs are being held just across the river with their big ticket artists and high production performances, it's a guy on stage with one guitar and no band around him playing for a $2 cover who absolutely knocks you out and makes it obvious that you're at the best gig in town if you're hearing him sing.

I found myself thinking of John Gorka while hearing his rich and warm voice. I also found myself asking someone for his name. Talent this good you want to learn more about. So I wrote "Pol Buckingham" on a bar napkin and ensured that I'd hear his "2000 Square Feet" and "Afraid" again as soon as I got home. It's great stuff.

My thanks to Holley and Pol for sharing their talent and to French Quarter Cafe for booking them for their awesome, weekly PB&JAM (every Wednesday). Listen to good music for only a $2 cover with two-for-one PBRs, and peanut butter sandwiches for cheap.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Chelsea Hotel

Enjoy a  nice 15-minute video about the Chelsea Hotel. Embedding disabled, but click here to watch.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Her First Hockey Game

At home, she talks like she loves hockey but when it's on TV she loses interest quickly so we suspect that it's more that she wants to be the girl who likes hockey than she is the girl who likes hockey. The moment of truth came tonight when we were given a couple of free tickets to the Predators game. Um, that hockey talk? It seems that it might be the real deal.

Our first dad-daughter outing in a long time, she was positively giddy riding down the interstate in the back seat. I told her what I knew about the game. (Not much.) She asked me if I was sure I was going the right way because we were going to be late for the game if I wasn't.

Once there, we enjoyed a nice walk from the library parking garage to the Sommet Center. Walking among the many Predators jersey-outfitted fans, my girl remarked, "There sure are a lot of lucky people seeing hockey tonight." We entered the arena and it was like she had been there before. Instead of being a shy kid in a crowd in an unfamiliar place, she was focused and in charge. When I'd slow the pace to look around, she'd pull me forward. "It's already starting, dad."

Still, I wondered just how much of the game she'd enjoy. With it being a school night, we'd be exiting after the first period. Would she last even that long? We entered Section 306 for our seats but I decided to go out and around to the other entrance closer to our seats. Holding her up as I walked away, my back to the ice, my daughter kept her head directed to the action, hungry for any glimpse of the real thing. Finally in our seats, there was no question to her intention to take it all in.

She asked me that very basic question first: "When will they fight?" I quickly texted that to my wife, but was scolded by my little hockey fan. The crowd was clapping and I was not. She called me on it. We cheered together and we chanted "Let's go, Predators" along with the rest of the crowd. Imagine if we sat in Section 303. Some of those chants wouldn't play as well at school for her the next day.

We left at the end of the period and she was giddy the whole way home. I'm still not sure if she'll watch any games on TV, but I think it's my duty as her dad to secure tickets for some more Preds games for her. Thanks to my wife's friend who gave us the tickets tonight and thanks to our friend and blogger, Jane Q. Public, for giving her a really cool Predators t-shirt. We had a perfectly awesome time.