Thursday, July 30, 2009

"She needs lots of love."

That's what sweet Ari said about her sister Sammie in the video that this frame is from. If only I could fix whatever is keeping me from uploading video (or uploading photos to Flickr, or accessing iTunes Store...), I'd share the clip here. It's sweet but there's something about how she looked at the camera as she said it that is hard to describe. It was instructional but melancholy, like tenderness as if filmed by M. Night Shyamalan.

That's one of those gifts we get as parents. We see these moments and we just analyze the heck out of them. We get to study on them and wonder how much of the adult that the kid will eventually be we are peeking at right now. The moment passes and we wait for the next one, like the pages in a mystery novel where we don't turn them ourselves but merely wait for a gentle breeze to do it for us. I just hope that I'm paying attention the next time the wind blows. I don't want to miss anything.

Anyway, Ari is right. We all need lots of love.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Fourth

"I Like Everything"

I almost gave up blogging. Instead, I'm piggybacking on someone else's post. Freaky Weasel is right. Great lyrics are great and people who say "I like everything" when you ask them what kind of music they like are full of it.

A Freaky Weasel excerpt:
The first thing I do when I hear "I like everything" is turn the radio to NPR or 92Q (for those not familiar with Nashville, 92Q is our local "urban" station. Don’t say black, you fucking racist). Suddenly, they will reveal that they do not, in fact, like ‘everything’.
No offense to those who really, really do like everything, but I don't even phrase the question like that to strangers anymore because I don't want to hear "I like everything" ever again.  Actually, what I like to hear even less is "I like everything (beat) except rap." Why does everyone have to pick on rap? There's good and bad in every genre and rap has some pretty good stuff going on if folks would just give it a chance. And to those folks who "like everything," might I suggest some Tuvan throat singing CDs to share a space on the shelf with your Kenny G and Mariah Carey discs? Or shall we lump that in with rap music as well? (Why do I pick on Kenny G and Mariah Carey? Because I am more of a snob than I should like to admit. I don't like their music, but they're incredibly sucessful at making it and selling it so they win.)

While I'm drinking, I'll add that one of my favorite song lyrics is less a lyric than a simple statement to the consumer. Jon Bon Jovi starts off "It's My Life" exclaiming "This is a song for the broken-hearted." I'd like to thank him for letting the rest of us listen to the song as well. And it's nice of him to announce beforehand that some of us might not receive it as other less happy in love listeners might. Maybe more singers should start their songs like that. It would save some people some time while really drawing in the attention of those for whom the song was written.

Anyway, three beers in and I'll stop before I start thinking I'm the next Chuck Klosterman. Anyway.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"Hold On"

"But inside your head there's a record that's playing
A song called 'Hold On', hold on
Babe, you gotta hold on
Take my hand, I'm standing right there
You gotta hold on"

from "Hold On" by Tom Waits

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

For My Jovi Girl

That was a close one. Several pagagraphs of woe-is-me and woe-is-us almost posted. I'll just go here instead: I love my wife. She has put up with me and all of my short-comings as if she loves me, too. I love like heck that she does that and just hope, hope, hope that I can reward her for loving me like she does someday.

We all know the drill. It's been hard as nails lately for so many families and we're no exception. She's a big time Bon Jovi fan and we're Tommy and Gina from "Living On A Prayer." "We'll make it I swear," is the famous refrain. For my lovely wife of almost seven years (August 3rd!), here's her favorite guy singing a song written by my favorite guy.

Fan Fund This Record

Good people The Joiners are going into the studio to make another record and would appreciate any help to cover studio costs. Jill Sobule reached out to her fans and made a record with donations. Linda Thompson is doing it, too. Let's help support Nashville's The Joiners. Your donation gets you a hard copy of their Olives and Oil and also "advance recordings, alternate mixes, love, and good fortune."

Visit The Joiners for more info.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Maybe I'll just be a truck driver.

Aside from the idea that properly backing up in one of those things to loading docks across the country seems like the most impossible thing to accomplish for a guy like me (I'm rarely perfect when backing up valeted Toyotas into their spots), I've recently been enjoying the fantasy of traveling the highways and biways of America. Making more money for my good family and listening to Tom Waits, Johnny Cash and public radio while keeping my eyes on the road seems like a beautiful thing to a guy like me.

Of course, I know nothing about vehicle maintenance so if it's important that a truck driver knows how to fix his truck, I'm sunk. Still, it's cool to read the wonderful blog The Daily Rant and see her beautiful photos and read her interesting tales from the road. She introduces you to the blog with these words:
"Born and raised in New York, I now drive an 18-wheeler, traveling the country with my very handsome boyfriend, Eddie. I have been to all 50 states, 11 Canadian Provinces and 3 Mexican border towns. I love waking up every day in a new place and being able to visit family and friends at any time along the way. What a life!"

Monday, July 13, 2009

"These Items Will Be Held For You"

Library nerd that I am, my favorite emails tend to be the ones from the library branch near me which state that "These Items Will Be Held For You."

Of course, sometimes I wonder what prompted me to request certain titles to begin with. The Very Best of Robert Palmer is currently on the hold shelf under my name. "Addicted To Love" must have been a recent earworm and my brain decided to fight it head on by seeking it out and listening to it on purpose. Actually, it's a pretty good song. I just don't recall requesting the CD. Looking at the track list now, I'm looking forward to picking it up tomorrow.

I'm watching "I Didn't Mean To Turn You On" on YouTube now and it's very mesmerizing. As I remembered it, it's not much of a song and it drags where it sounds like it should move along a bit faster, but watching it now I think it might be a little bit genius. According to the credits, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis have something to do with it and now I hear some of that "Minneapolis sound" that I like so much. Also, the overall tempo is damn near hypnotic.

Anyway, I haven't really written in awhile and I'm forcing it tonight so this is what you get. Me, trying to dissect the music of Robert Palmer in the year 2009. I'll just read your blogs now and post some pictures tomorrow.

Have a nice night.

By The Road

Saturday, July 11, 2009

"Que Sera Sera"

We spent the morning dancing to Arielle Dombasle's C'Est Si Bon on the iPod and then we went outside to take some pictures. One thing about Ari, she'll smile all day until you ask her to. I tend to prefer shots like these anyway, so it's all good. Whatever will be, will be.

Friday, July 10, 2009

"White Lines"

Can someone with the time and talent for such things analyze for me why I think this is the best thing television has given us in recent memory? I'm just grateful I got to see it. Wild!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Fun on the Fourth

Steve McNair, from the archives

Here's from something I wrote about Steve McNair a few years ago:

Ever since watching him put up 336 yards in the 1999 season opener (while being booed by fans, incredulously), I have been a fan of number 9. Before that day, I had marked myself as a fan only of a team and not a player. I knew that players came and went too often for me to put my loyalty behind someone who likely wouldn't be on the team for any coming season. And so I was determined to not buy player jerseys, only team specific merchandise. For two seasons, I was true to my words. I watched the Oilers play in Memphis in 1997 and I watched them play in Nashville at Vanderbilt in 1998, and I hardly bothered to learn the names of the players. I rooted for my home team and that was that.

Then, 1999 came. My wife and I took our seats in what was called Adelphia Coliseum at the time. I was in my Titans cap and ready for another fun NFL game. I was ready to watch my team. But on the field that day, Steve McNair was on fire. He threw for over 300 yards and I think three touchdowns. I think his scrambling might have confused many fans, who started booing him as he was playing to catch up with the winning Bengals. All he was doing was putting up yards and points; our struggling defense was the only reason that Cincinnati was winning. And as we found ourselves down by two with about a minute to go in the game, Steve McNair moved the offense up the field, proving wrong his doubters, and got his team in position for a beautiful last second Al Del Greco field goal. With the first game in the books, the Tennessee Titans were 1-0 and on their way to a terrific season, one where we would play in the Super Bowl on the merits of a 13-3 record.

Before the second game of the season, yours truly was wearing a Steve McNair jersey, a fan of a player, going against my game plan. I knew that one day, he'd probably be on another team. It happens all of the time. But there was something about him that was the team.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Feels Like My Theme Song Some Days

Listening to this, I miss my old copy of Arc.

Lifts My Mood

Thinking About Bloggers I Admire

I held back tonight from posting something more long-winded and of the vulnerable variety. I spent a long time typing out its words, but I'll let it live in drafts for a bit and maybe share it later.

Instead, I'll just take this late night moment to say that I'm listening to Bob Dylan's Blood On The Tracks and The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. "Girl From The North Country" sounds so peaceful and breezy, doesn't it? I'm thinking of Melissa whose blog is named after that song and hoping that she is well. What she shares in pictures and in words never fails to make me happy and/or ponderous.

Also, reminded of another sweet and dreamy blogger, I read a small piece on Asheville's David Wilcox in the Scene tonight. I learned from the short bit that he "recorded his last album in an airstream trailer, while living a carefree, nomadic life with his wife and son." I hope that Holly gets her wish and finds herself someday "owning a coffee shop and an Airstream somewhere in the Appalachians."

Peace to all of my friends. Who's doing what on the fourth? We're considering a trip to East Nashville for the 2009 Music City Hot Chicken Festival in the afternoon and then who knows what for fireworks later. We're available for Tweet-ups or meet-ups or whatever Internet folks like us call being social these days.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Sammie in the Summer

By The Pool

The annual post about my shaved head.

Every summer for the last few years, I've shaved my head when it started to get hot. I've never kept it shaved though letting it grow back to a full head of hair just in time for autumn. No one ever really likes it, including my wife. Truth be known I've never really cared for the look either, but something about a head of sweaty hair bugs me so much that I'm always cool with it.

This year is the first time that I've gotten random compliments from coworkers and friends. I kind of liked it, too. The big surprise, however, was last night when my wife noticed that my hair was growing out pretty fast and admitted that she liked my shaved look for the first time ever. I'm not sure what's so different about it this year. Maybe as I age my face is getting a bit rounder which complements this certain appearance.

Anyway, for the first summer ever, I've not only shaved my head, but I'm keeping the clippers close at hand to keep it like this for at least the next couple of months.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.

(More than) 100 Years of Beziats in America

While making my kids their lunches today, I pretended that I was a French chef named Michel who was happy to have them as my customers. They always get a big kick out of it and make me laugh as they pretend right along. At one point I tasted Joshua's food for him and with a kiss to my fingertips told him that it was decidedly delectable. He replied by asking what that word meant as he only spoke English. Cracked me up.

I then remembered how several years ago I found records of my great-grandfather's first trip to America thanks to I stayed in character and asked the kids to follow me to the laptop where I would tell them about a man named Andre and ask them if they had ever heard of him. Through equal parts silliness and curiosity we determined that their father's name was Michael, his father's name was Richard, Richard's father was Henry, and Henry's father was Andre. Andre Beziat, as records show, first sailed to America in 1909 on a ship called La Gascogne.

[It's at this point that I took a second look at the passenger records and saw that 1909 wasn't Andre's first visit to America but rather his second. So much for "100 Years of Beziats in America." I really liked that title but I'm 16 years too late on that one. His first visit was in 1893 on a ship that departed from Rotterdam, Holland when he was a resident of the small town of Ruurlo. Subsequent trips were from Le Havre, France. I recommend the site to anyone whose ancestors came through Ellis Island. You can view ship manifests complete with the signatures of the passengers and also photographs of the ships. I'd love to purchase these documents for myself and as a gift to family members.]

Still the French chef, the kids told me about the poster of the Eiffel Tower that was in their apartment back in Tennessee. I told them that it was interesting that they had an image of that iconic structure in their home as I had a poster of their Statue of Liberty on a wall in my chateau. Of course, they were from Nashville so maybe I should have told them that I had a picture of their "Batman building" instead.

Enough writing for now. Chef Michel must make his famous formula in a bottle for his youngest customer, Mademoiselle Samantha Beziat.

It's good to be the passenger.

I can take lots of, um, experimental pictures while someone else does the driving.