The Mind Wobbles

So many things to absorb, think about, deal with and put up with - it simply makes the mind wobble...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

American Idol Recap - Top 5 - Rat Pack/Standards

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In prior years I’ve said that “Standards” is my favorite American Idol theme. I love these songs and adding the Rat Pack twist was fun. But Jamie Foxx? Really?

KrisThe Way You Look Tonight – I love this song; this boy is so damned cute!; he updated the arrangement a little but stayed true to the song; the thing with Kris is he doesn’t have a great big voice but he really knows how to work with what he’s got and picks songs that fit his voice; I really liked the performance. My score – 9

AlisonSomeone To Watch Over Me – Another favorite for me; I liked what she was wearing and thought she looked lovely – except for the god-awful hair; finally she sang a song that is age appropriate but her voice just doesn’t work for the song, she doesn’t sound vulnerable enough; this is probably the performance I’ve least disliked by her, but although her voice was as always good, I didn’t like it. My score (based on voice quality not performance) – 8

MattMy Funny Valentine – (sigh) a boring song by a boring guy; I really expected him to shine in this category and he just didn’t; it got better towards the end of the song and he hit the last note nicely but I have been over him since he made the Top 13! My score – 7

DannyCome Rain or Come Shine - love the song, great choice for him; he looked great and sounded fantastic; his smoky voice worked really well for this genre; he needed to “bring it” and he did; excellent! My score – 9

AdamFeeling Good – I really don’t like this song, but Adam totally nailed it; I knew he would do well in this genre; he totally owned the stage, the song and the audience; it was a bit over-the-top but it worked; I think this was the performance of the night. My score - 10

Who I Think Should Go Home:
Matt (surprise!)

Who I Think Will Go Home:

What do you think? Do you like the old standards? Was Adam too much?


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

'Toon Tuesday

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Book Review - "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" - Junot Diaz

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao was a challenging read for me, as is all magical realism. It took me a while to get the rhythm of the book, and to get comfortable with the writing style – no quotation marks for dialogue, copious footnotes explaining political and pop culture references, significant use of Spanglish, etc. But about half way through the book it finally clicked for me and subsequently – I really liked it.

It’s a complicated story that constantly flips through time and between narrators. It tells the story of Oscar Wao’s family on his mother’s side. We learn about the family curse or “fukú” and the suffering it causes through generations. A large part of the book focuses on his mother and grandfather as well as the politics of the Dominican Republic.

I didn’t have difficulty with the non-translated Spanish throughout the book, but I’m surprised that the general English-speaking public and critic community has embraced the book, even awarding it the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in literature. I’m also surprised that the pop culture references and the very necessary and lengthy footnotes didn’t turn people off. The footnotes were a god-send to me who will stop reading and Google references with which I’m not familiar.

The book almost reads like a fable for adults, full of symbolism and in its own way full of beautiful prose.

I definitely recommend the book, with the caveat that there’s a lot of non-translated Spanish and a lot of footnotes – sometimes half a page long!


Friday, April 24, 2009

The Lola Shuffle - The "Boobie Squish" Edition

Yep - I got my mammogram and ultrasound done today! Big fun!

Seriously though - ladies over 40 - have you had yours done this year?

Thankfully the preliminary findings are clear - hopefully the final report will be too.

You know, I'm not the type to be afraid of doctors, or a hypochondriac - if anything I'm the opposite. But there's something about mammogram day that freaks me out a little bit. I guess it's the realization that you're going to specifically to find out if something very bad is wrong with you. So, I was a bit of a wreck this morning, but I'm fine now (deep sigh of relief).

So Lola, shuffle us up some good news music...
  1. It Ain't Me Babe - Bob Dylan
  2. If I Can't Have You - Bee Gees
  3. Because the Night - 10,000 Maniacs
  4. Runaway - The Corrs
  5. Give Me One Reason - Tracy Chapman
  6. Island Girl - Elton John
  7. Vivaldi's "La Tempesta de Mare" - Riccardo Muti with La Scala Philharmonic
  8. Los Aretes de la Luna - Antonio Machin
  9. Little Lies - Fleetwood Mac
  10. Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show - Neil Diamond

Have a wonderful spring weekend!

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

I've Been Saying It For Years

[Yes, I'm repeating the cartoon I used on 'Toon Tuesday because it goes perfectly with the subject of this post.]

According to this article by Andres Oppenheimer and numerous news reports, Fidel Castro has pretty much contradicted his brother Raul who is supposed to be the new President, Commander-in-Chief, Galactic Overlord, Chief Cook and Bottle washer, etc.

Apparently Raul recently said something along the lines that
Cuban leaders would be willing to sit down with their U.S. counterparts and discuss "everything, everything, everything," including human rights, freedom of the press and expression, and political prisoners.

That's awesome, right? President Obama has already eased restrictions on family travel and remittances to Cuba and it has been speculated that this would eventually lead to at least some easing of the 47 year-old US embargo against Cuba. There would have to be negotiations with and concessions from the Cuban government of course.

So now Fidel has said:
that Obama had ''misinterpreted'' Raúl's remarks about Cuba's willingness to discuss human rights issues. According to Fidel, Raúl meant to say that Cuba would free political prisoners if the United States frees five Cubans convicted in the U.S. of spying for Cuba.

I, and many others much better versed on the subject, have maintained for decades now that Fidel Castro does not want the US embargo to be lifted. The embargo has served as Castro's perennial bogeyman, the cause of all of Cuba's problems - most importantly it has served as his excuse for the regime's failed economic policies.

Cuban propaganda espouses that the embargo has kept medicines and food from the Cuban people, but there has been humanitarian aid from charity agencies into Cuba for years. the problem is that the government misused and misdirected much of it to suit their purposes such as what is known as "medical tourism". Often medicines and medical equipment from the United States was funneled to hospitals specifically devoted to medical tourism because it generated revenue for the government. Meanwhile, the people of Cuba were having to endure abysmal conditions in "the people's hospitals".

So of course, the last thing the old guard of the revolutionary government wants is the lifting of the embargo. Once that happens anything and everything will be available for *purchase* - but, wait - there's no money! The jig will be up...everyone will see the emperor indeed has no clothes.

As Norberto Fuentes, biographer and former friend of Fidel Castro, told Oppenheimer:
Fidel has sabotaged every U.S. effort to improve ties with Cuba over the past 50 years and he needs confrontation with Washington to justify his regime's absolute hold on power.

I think Fidel is trying to sabotage this as well. Will he succeed yet again? Only if we let him.

Let US citizens and residents travel to Cuba whether or not they have family there. Let us go with our books and our movies and our music. Let us flood the island with dollars and ideas. Let the people of Cuba finally learn the truth about their half century of suffering and need.

Don't let Fidel Castro continue to dictate (pun intended) our failed 50 year policy towards Cuba.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

American Idol Recap - Top 7: The Sequel - Disco Week

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OK. I have no words for last week’s “saving” of Matt so…interpret my silence.

*Three* Donna Summer songs! Was this Disco Week or Donna Summer Week? Well, when you think about it – is there a difference, really?

I have to say - this week was a surprise for me for several reasons. I thought it would be disastrous for Kris and Danny and I thought it would be a boogie wonderland for Adam and maybe even Lil. Great spinning disco balls, was I wrong!

Now, put on your highly flammable but shiny qiana shirts with your ankle-threatening platform shoes and let’s boogie-oogie-oogie

LilI’m Every Woman – fantastic song, horrible performance; she looked good, but her voice was all over the place and shrieky; say goodbye to Lil. My score – 5

KrisShe Works Hard for the Money – Wow! He went acoustic and it was awesome! He looked adorable; his voice was spot on; loved it, loved it, loved it; I will download this version; for me, the performance of the night. My score – 10

DannySeptember – An Earth, Wind and Fire classic and he nailed it; he looked great and sounded better; his high notes were excellent; loved him, but he really needs to *not* dance! My score – 9

AlisonHot Stuff – No, no, no! Literally minutes before she sang I told my husband that I really, really, really didn’t want to hear a 16 year old sing: “I’m looking for some hot stuff baby this evening, I need some hot stuff, baby tonight”, and sure enough – the 16 year old sang it. She looked like a cheap hooker; her voice as always was strong, but she wasn’t at her best; I didn’t like anything about the performance; again – I just don’t get her. My score – 6

AdamIf I Can’t Have You – great song, disappointing performance; OK, so maybe *I* was the only one that wanted him to bust out and sing “It’s Raining Men”, but I hated this arrangement; he looked great and his voice was as usual fantastic, if a bit shrieky. But no…just no. My score - 8.

MattStaying Alive – No the irony did not escape me (sigh, rolling eyes). Anyway, great song - boring performance; he looked good, what with the hat covering the pimple of doom; the performance was a little frenetic; his voice was OK, but that last note was brutal. So can he please leave *now*? My score – 6

AnoopDim All The Lights - Great song and he looked fantastic, I’m loving the fuzzy Anoop! He sounded good, looked comfortable, hit the high notes. I really liked it. My score - 9

Who I Think Should Go Home:
Lil and Matt

Who I Think Will Go Home:
Lil and Matt

What do you think? Are we *finally* getting rid of Matt? Is it the end of the road for Lil?


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

'Toon Tuesday


Friday, April 17, 2009

The Lola Shuffle - The "Alvin Ailey Dance Company" Edition

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Tonight, a friend and I are going to a performance of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. I've seen them on TV several times, but never live - I'm really looking forward to it.

So Lola, shuffle up some dancy tunes...

  1. Reasons - Earth, Wind & Fire
  2. Mandy - Barry Manilow
  3. Changing Your Demeanor - The Chieftains
  4. Rock With You - Michael Jackson
  5. Hand In My Pocket - Alanis Morissette
  6. Margaritaville - Jimmy Buffett (Don't start Dixie!)
  7. Over the Rainbow - Eva Cassidy
  8. Hole in the World - The Eagles
  9. I'm the Only One - Melissa Etheridge
  10. Pleasure Songs - The Mary Onettes

Have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

American Idol Recap - Top 7 - Songs from Movies

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Wow! Talk about a huge pool of songs! I wonder if they had some parameters. And Quentin Tarantino – love him!

AllisonI Don’t Want to Miss a Thing – I love this song! Her outfit was better than usual; her voice was fine, but I thought not as good as usual – however the judges were raving, so what do I know? I still don’t get her.
My score – 7

Anoop(Everything I Do) I Do It for You – The song is OK but a bit boring; he looks good, I like the outfit; sounds really good, he held a pretty note in the middle of the song; even though the song isn’t my favorite I liked the performance; I like Anoop a lot. My score – 8

AdamBorn To Be Wild – One of the best songs ever! Now see, this time he changed the arrangement, but it was OK because it stayed true to the spirit of the song; I liked the changes, they suit his voice and style; he looks great; the high notes were awesome; Wow! My score – 10

MattHave You Ever Really Loved a Woman? - beautiful song; pretty piano playing; his voice is awful tonight; uh oh…boring Matt is back (yawn). My score – 6

DannyEndless Love – another beautiful song; he looks good; his voice sounds great with a lot of emotion; very sweet rendition; I loved it. My score – 9

KrisFalling Slowly – I don’t know this song; it’s pretty; he looks cute as usual; he sounds great; the high notes were beautiful but the song was a bit boring. My score – 8

LilThe Rose – a great song; she looks good; her voice is off, alternately wavering and shouting; this was bad; I think she’s done. My score - 5

Who I Think Should Go Home:

Who I Think Will Go Home:
Lil – she saved Matt’s azz this week!

What do you think? Is Lil going home?


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

'Toon Tuesday


Monday, April 13, 2009

National Library Week 2009

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It's National Library Week 2009.

I hadn't been to a library for a while, but one day last week was so beautiful I took a walk to the library at lunch time. I remembered how much I loved libraries! They're very different now of course (no card catalogs!), but I still got that familiar "at home" feeling.

When I was growing up my father would take me to the library often. I got a library card when I was like 6 years old and I would dutifully pick out a bunch of books to take home, but that was after a couple of hours of hanging out at the library. Papi would go read whatever he was interested in and I would stay in the Children's room amidst toys and books. Sometimes there was an activity going on. Otherwise I would first walk around looking on all the shelves and pick out the books I was going to take home. Then, I'd take a bunch of books, often from the reference section - yes I was a nerd - and sit in the miniature tables and chairs and devour whatever I was fascinated by that day.

As I got older and had to do term papers and reports, Papi would dutifully take me to the library - not that it was ever a chore for him - and I would look stuff up in the card catalog, photocopy things and review stuff on the microfiche machine and gather information for the bibliography on index cards. "Card Catalog", "Photocopy" and "Microfiche" words that are practically foreign to kids today.

I think I'm going to make a point of going to the library more often - just being in there relaxes me. Celebrate National Library Week by visiting your local library if you haven't done so in a while - it's chock full of magic...

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Birthday David Cassidy!

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Can you believe he's 59 today? That is just so wrong! He still looks great!

But still...Happy Birthday David (sigh)!

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Friday, April 10, 2009

The Lola Shuffle - The "Good Friday" Edition

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Wow! Doing the Lola Shuffle on Good Friday! I realize I've done a couple of these already and I never made the connection of music and Good Friday before today.

When I was growing up I was raised by my beloved, very Catholic, very old-school , very pre-Vatican II, Spanish grandmother. This meant that on Good Friday not only was there no meat - there was also no TV, no playing, and no music - there was pretty much no fun at all, because well, Jesus Christ died for us that day and the least we could do was be miserable.

You can imagine what that was like for a kid all day at home on vacation from school who loved TV! It was awful. It was made worse because, while we couldn't listen to music, my grandmother would turn all the radios in the house to one of the local Cuban radio stations who on Good Friday would only air the reading of the
Sermon of the Seven Words on a continuous loop - all day. So my grandmother, and therefore I, would listen to it ALL DAY, EVERYWHERE.

But that was then and this is now. Today Lola shuffles and I'm pretty sure Jesus is cool with that.
  1. Movin' On - Elliott Yamin
  2. Love Affair - Erasure
  3. Behind the Wall - Tracy Chapman
  4. Rock and Roll Dreams - Meatloaf (By the way did anyone see Meatloaf last Monday on the awesomest episode of "House" ever? He wasn't in the main story, but he was good...)
  5. Get the Party Started - P!nk (Sorry Abi! - that's what I called my grandmother)
  6. When I Come Around - Green Day
  7. Babe - Styx
  8. I Kissed a Girl - Katy Perry (Yeah, Lola seems intent on giving Abi a hard time today...)
  9. Don't Stop - Fleetwood Mac
  10. Clumsy - Fergie

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. If you celebrate Easter, then have a blessed, happy holiday. I hope you get lots of easter candy, and remember - always, always, always, eat the chocolate bunny ears first!

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

I Just Want To Be Mad

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This song by Terri Clark has been around for a while, and the other day in the midst of a full Lola shuffle (that's where I shuffle all the songs on my iPod and listen to everything) it came up and I was reminded how fantastic a song this is.

I think every woman who loves someone feels like this every now and then. You definitely love your partner - there's no question about that. You know this person is without a doubt the person you want to be with - but damnitalltohell they can pizz you off!

Most of the time it's just a quick kerfuffle, everybody yells, stay away from each other for a bit and then carry on normally. But other times, you don't get over it right away, your angry and frustrated and don't want to deal with your beloved - you just wanna be mad for a while. So, when your partner comes around and tries to be normal, or extra nice you're just not ready yet and sometimes it lasts for more than a day.

This song captures that emotional state brilliantly and in a way validates it. Like, it's OK if you're still angry when the other person is over it - it doesn't mean you don't love them it just means you're still pissed!

Here are the lyrics - seriously how perfect are they?

I Just Want To Be Mad
Terri Clark

Last night we went to bed not talkin',
'Cause we'd already said too much.
I faced the wall, you faced the window
bound and determined not to touch.

We've been married seven years now,
Some days it feels like 21.
I'm still mad at you this mornin'.
Coffee's ready if you want some.
I've been up since five, thinkin' bout me and you.
And I've got to tell you the conclusion I've come to.

I'll never leave, I'll never stray.
My love for you will never change,
but I ain't ready to make up, we'll get around to that.
I think I'm right, I think you're wrong.
I'll prob'ly give in before long.
Please don't make me smile.
I just wanna be mad for a while.

Well, now you might as well forget it.
Don't run your fingers through my hair.
Yeah, that's right, I'm bein' stubborn.
No, I don't wanna go back upstairs.
I'm gonna leave for work without a goodbye kiss.
But as I'm drivin' off, just remember this.

I'll never leave, I'll never stray.
My love for you will never change,
but I ain't ready to make up, we'll get around to that.
I think I'm right, I think you're wrong.
I'll prob'ly give in before long.
Please don't make me smile.
I just wanna be mad for a while.

I'll never leave, I'll never stray.
My love for you will never change,
but I ain't ready to make up, we'll get around to that.
I think I'm right, I think you're wrong.
I'll prob'ly give in before long.
Please don't make me smile.
I just wanna be mad for a while.

I just wanna be mad for a while.
I just wanna be mad for a while.
I just wanna be mad for a while.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

American Idol recap - Top 8 - Songs From The Year You Were Born

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OK, so if I had to sing a song from the year I was born (1963), I’d pick “He’s So Fine” by The Chiffons, or “Puff the Magic Dragon” by Peter, Paul and Mary – but I think I’d be *pitchy* on "Puff". Which song would you pick?

Flash forward 45 years and we have the Top 8…

Danny – 1980 – Stand By Me - Hated the arrangement of this beautiful song; his voice sounded different to me, but still good; I liked the end more than the rest of the song; it was OK, but not a favorite. My score - 8

Kris – 1985 – All She Wants To Do Is Dance – I love this song; I think all the judges were sharing Paula’s drugs, because they were kvetching, but I thought he did an excellent job!; he looked great and sounded great; I love how easy and no-frills his performances are but he’s not boring. My score – 9

Lil – 1984 – What’s Love Got To Do With It – Lil, Lil, Lil…Tina Turner? Really? She managed to make this fantastic song boring! Her voice as usual was great and I liked how she looked, but it her lame-azzed Tina imitation was a big mistake; she seems to be self-destructing. My score - 7

Anoop – 1986 –True Colors – Anooooooooooooop’s in da’house! Love the song, loved the performance, love Anoop! Flush from the Tar Heels victory last night, homeboy *brung it*!; he makes me smile. My score - 9

Scott – 1985 – The Search Is Over – The search may be over, but sadly Scott’s performances aren’t – yet; please America…make…it…stop! This performance was just god-awful; he was yelling – that’s not emotion, that’s just loud; the guitar looked like a limp appendage, there was no reason for it to be there, it served no purpose – what will he bring out next (if he survives), a bassoon? He needs to be gone. My score - 4

Allison – 1992 (!) – I Can’t Make you Love Me – OK, you know what? Just kill me now; go ahead – I don't care I’m gonna say it: I didn’t like this performance *at all*! Yes her voice was great as always, fine, whatever; the song was *completely* inappropriate and nonsensical for a 16 year old! Hello? Have the judges *listened* to the words? Talk about “too old for her” – isn’t that what the judges bitched about to Alexis? And again, despite the quality of her voice, I just don’t like how she looks, performs, moves, etc. And OHMYGOD – what was that child wearing? It was like a punk rumba outfit! Just no! My score – 7

Matt – 1985 – Part Time Lover – Damn it all if the boy didn’t suck me back in; I really liked this! I love the song, and that blue-eyed soul thing he had going really worked for me; he wasn’t boring this week; and the cocked hat covered the forehead pimple which is always a good thing. My score - 8

Adam – 1982 – Mad World – Wow! I didn’t know the song and it didn’t matter – I loved it! I love, love, love low key Adam; he looked great and that falsetto at the end was amazing; totally connected emotionally; I’m changing my mind I think Adam is going to win this thing. My score - 10

Who I Think Should Go Home:

Who I Think Will Go Home:

What do you think? Will America put me out of my misery and send Scott home?


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

'Toon Tuesday


Friday, April 3, 2009

The Lola Shuffle - The "Cathy and Jim's Wedding" Edition

My SIL and her new Hubby are honeymooning in Hawaii right now! They're likely having a fantastic time, so this shuffle is for them
Come on Lola, shuffle up something wonderful for Cathy and Jim...
  1. She's Got a Way - Billy Joel
  2. Roxanne - The Police
  3. For Once In My Life - Tony Bennett
  4. Anticipation - Carly Simon
  5. Hand In My Pocket - Alanis Morisette
  6. I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor
  7. Move Along - The All-American Rejects
  8. Give It Up - Cyndi Lauper
  9. As Good As I Once Was - Toby Keith
  10. Alien - Erasure

Well, Lola started off OK, but then went off the newlywed-honeymoon path. Oh well, you know Lola!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Leader of the Band

As some of you know my husband and I spent a week in the Philadelphia area for my Hubby's baby sister's wedding. As some of you also know, we've had a rough couple of months after my husband's illness and hospitalization - for a while it looked like we might not be able to make it to the wedding!

Because of this, and maybe because I've been more introspective than usual for who knows what reason, several things during the wedding and its preparations caught my attention and I'll probably write about them periodically.

Today I'm writing about the Father-Daughter dance at the wedding. First a little background about my father-in-law. He - like Hubby's entire family - is a musician. He's also a retired music teacher. Throughout his career he taught all ages and directed school bands and chorales, and even today he is the choir director at his church. In short, he's always been, in one way or another, the "Leader of the Band"., which is the song my SIL chose for the father-daughter dance.

Besides being a talented musician and beloved teacher, my FIL is one of the kindest men I know. He welcomed me into his family from day one, and has always made me feel loved and cared for, I am very, very lucky. Yet another reason the song choice was perfect!

As for the dance itself, it was beautiful but I can't fathom how SIL managed to not bawl her eyes out! I am so impressed by people who can do that. I of course was crying like the dork I am along with a bunch of other people, but FIL and SIL kept it together, although I think FIL got a little was, after all, his little girl, his only daughter.

I don't know how my SIL came to choose this song, as it was popular when she was very young, but it is really apropos for FIL and the family since all of them are musicians and music is such an important part of thier lives.

It is one of my all-time favorite songs by one of my all-time favorite singers, Dan Fogelberg. Because the words are so beautiful, I wanted to share them with you, and wish that you all have at least one "leader of the band" in your life.

Leader of the Band
Dan Fogelberg

An only child
Alone and wild
A cabinet makers son
His hands were meant
For different work
And his heart was known
To none --
He left his home
And went his lone
And solitary way
And he gave to me
A gift I know I never
Can repay

A quiet man of music
Denied a simpler fate
He tried to be a soldier once
But his music wouldn't wait
He earned his love
Through discipline
A thundering, velvet hand
His gentle means of sculpting souls
Took me years to understand.

The leader of the band is tired
And his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs through
My instrument
And his song is in my soul --
My life has been a poor attempt
To imitate the man
I'm just a living legacy
To the leader of the band.

My brothers lives were
For they heard another call
One went to Chicago
And the other to St. Paul
And I'm in Colorado
When I'm not in some hotel
Living out this life Ive chose
And come to know so well.

I thank you for the music
And your stories of the road
I thank you for the freedom
When it came my time to go --
I thank you for the kindness
And the times when you got tough
And, papa, I don't think I
Said I love you near enough --

The leader of the band is tired
And his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs through
My instrument
And his song is in my soul --
My life has been a poor attempt
To imitate the man
I'm just a living legacy
To the leader of the band
I am the living legacy
To the leader of the band

At my wedding my father-daughter song was "Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong - what was yours?

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

American Idol Recap - Top 9 - Popular Downloads

Anoop – Usher’s Caught Up - I don’t know the song; he looks good but the song isn’t a good choice because it’s not really “singable”; actually I don’t like the song; he looks pissed – I think he’s trying to be “gangsta” and it’s just not working. My score: 6

Megan – Bob Marley’s Turn Your Lights Down Low – good song; she looks beautiful; I know a lot of people don’t like her, but I really do; her voice is weird but interesting; I don’t know how long she’ll last, but I liked the performance. My score: 8

Danny – Rascal Flatt’s What Hurts the Most – I don’t know the song but it doesn’t matter, I love this performance; he sang the hell out of the song; Danny’s back! My score: 9

Allison – No Doubt’s Don’t Speak – Great song; hate the outfit!; I don’t like the arrangement, it seems like it’s too low for her; the guitar is irrelevant, this song doesn’t need a guitar, it’s a prop; I really didn’t like this. My score: 6

Scott – Billy Joel’s Just the Way You Are – Really? All the songs he could pick and he picked *this* song? I know, I know, it’s a good song, it’s a classic, but not the most exciting choice; as usual his piano playing is great, but his voice is just not there; he yelled where it didn’t belong; train wreck. My score: 5

***Flubbed Technical Music Reference Alert*** - Paula, whether or not an orchestra is part of the arrangement has nothing to do with whether or not it was “more legato”, which means “musical notes are played or sung smoothly without interruptions between notes”.

Matt – The Fray’s You Found Me – Great song, bad performance; I barely recognized the song; well, at least he wasn’t boring, he was just bad. My score: 5.

Lil – Celine Dion’s I Surrender – I don’t know the song probably because I avoid Celine Dion like the bubonic plague; Lil looked beautiful and her voice was fantastic, but as with most of Celine’s songs, it’s too “shouty”; while technically strong, I found the performance boring. My score: 7

Adam – Wild Cherry’s Play That Funky Music – fantastic song!; he messed around with the arrangement again, but he kept the chorus intact, so I can handle it; he looked and sounded fantastic; he’s growing on me; the performance was good but I wouldn’t download it, I’ll stick to the original - yes I'm old. My score: 8

***Flubbed Pop Reference Alert*** - Ummm…Kara honey, it was Studio 54, not 57!

Kris – Bill Withers' Ain’t No Sunshine – Fantastic song, fantastic performance!; he totally brings it without any bells and whistles, he just sings beautifully; he’s cute as hell; now, see – compare this performance to Scott’s both performed a ballad on a piano, but Kris was anything but boring. The performance of the night! My score: 9

Who I Think *Should* Go Home:

Who I Think *Will* Go Home:

What do you think?