Monday, March 31, 2008

Tagged by Therese, Torture by Terseness

Heck, she probably dreads TALKING to you (I tried not to mention your verbosity, but, do you have the same problem IRL??)

-- Starlight, in a comment left on my blog in August 2006

I'll be the first to admit that my writing style is verbose, and I've taken some flack here and there for it. Therese, being a somewhat playful jokester with a mildly sadistic streak, has decided to tag me with the Six Word Memoir meme.

I suspect you could have dropped me into the Eagle Creek Reservoir with a concrete block shackled to an ankle, and I would have a better chance of escaping than I would succeeding at coming up with a memoir in six words. Nonetheless, I will give it my best try.

Here are the rules:

  1. Write your own six word memoir

  2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like

  3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to this original post if possible, so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere

  4. Tag five more blogs with links

  5. And don’t forget to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play.

Without further ado, here is my six-word memoir:
Existential crisis destroys and resurrects phoenix.

I'm going to deviate from the meme and decline tagging additional bloggers. However, for those who weren't reading this space at the time of the Thinking Blogger meme, I'll point you to my mathematical analysis of the five descendant meme.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Half Nekkid Thursday: Stuffie Edition

I know Anais has been itching for an update, and I'm working on it. In lieu of that I'll offer up a HNT photo that is a tribute to the stuffie tales of Probitinate in Situ and Cat's photo collection.

For a couple years now, my four year-old daughter has had a habit of tying up things. It started with loose pony tail rings, and she'd loop them around some of the smaller animal toys she had. Most of the time she did this without anyone seeing her do it.

She doesn't do it as often, but now she's apparently graduated on to shoe strings and stuffed animals. This past Sunday, I noticed that she had been applying her craft to the stuffed animal I dubbed "Snuggleduck" because as a toddler she would hold it when she went to bed at night.

Sometimes, I wonder just how concerned I should be about this.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Last Knight, We Were All Pips

Ahhhh, life was wonderful on Saturday night, for one of the truly great women of soul graced the Circle City with her talents. That's right, Gladys Knight performed a mix of her own works, old school soul, and timeless standards, backed by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

Your humble blogger splurged on the expensive tickets and landed himself in the eighth row, stage right, so he was able to witness way up close a truly classy and funny lady put on a show well worth the price.

Her voice has withstood the test of time, sounding as good or even better than the recordings she did some 40 years ago. Her presence was simultaneously graceful and down-to-earth. She's got rhythm that I could never hope to match, and you could tell she put her heart into the performance. She was having fun, at one point losing her composure to laughter as she was bantering with one of the backup singers.

The only thing I would have asked her to add would have been for her to sing "If I were Your Woman".

The orchestra would have done justice to the lush string accompaniment.

Although she was backed up by a very talented young trio of singers, she made several references to the Pips, who backed her up back in the day. The funniest surprise was when her brother, and onetime Pip, Merald (Bubba) Knight, made an appearance on stage. In the video clip above, Merald is the tall one in the back.

He said he was taking Gladys on an offer she made him when she went solo back in the 80s, that he could come sing with her whenever he wanted to. After some additional clowning around that had the audience busting a gut, he bust some moves of his own and kicked into a mean rendition of "Love and Happiness".

The show closed with her signature song, "Midnight Train to Georgia", where she encouraged the crowd to sing along. It was a wonderful sound to hear such a mix of ages and backgrounds singing the backup parts, complete with the "pull-the-cord" motion and "woo-woo".

The audience, myself included, loved her show, giving her three or four standing ovations over the course of the performance.

I knew it was a long shot, but I had kind of hoped she might dig up a really obscure number and perform the song "Way Back Home". It was recorded by Junior Walker in the early 70s, a cover of an instrumental originally done by the Jazz Crusaders. Knight herself gets joint credit for the lyrics. Later on, the tune would be recycled with new lyrics by B.B. King, released as the song "Take it Home."

Good stuff.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

What?!! They Didn't Get a Quote from Emily?!!

Most of the regular readers in this space are also bloggers who write out of a similar set of motivations, so this transcript, aired originally on the Australian Broadcating Corporation's program (or is that programme?) The World Today, probably won't come as much of a surprise.

It is a report about research done at the Swinburne University of Technology, wherein they followed a group of young bloggers. The study revealed that while most of the participants started out in anxious or depressed states, over time there were improvements in their outlook. Moreover, the act of blogging helped them to break through their feelings of isolation.

Sounds a lot like the story on this blog over the past year and a half.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Sunday Morning Sing-a-Long: Installment III

Today, we serve up a double order of Texas Blues from the late great Stevie Ray Vaughan, a man whose life was cut all too short, all too soon.

First up is "Cold Shot", which has a hilarious video that I had almost forgotten about. The best part is where he keeps pulling guitars from out behind his sofa.

The next song, which is more in keeping with the spirit of the sing-a-long, is "Tick Tock", recorded with his brother Jimmie. The video depicted below was created by a fan.

The song was released in the late summer of 1990, just before a helicopter crash claimed SRV's life. I picked "Tick Tock" because the sense of idealism and hope embodied within the song seems to be establishing a foothold in the nation's politcal Zeitgeist these days, especially with younger voters... many of who were born about the time this song was being recorded.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Late Night Listening: Installment XXII

Continuing with our 80s groove from last week, let's grab a blankie and enjoy Squeeze's "Black Coffee in Bed", complete with a showcase of 80s preppie styles. All that's missing is the Brat Pack.

I love the harmonies in the song, especially when they sing the words "black coffee in bed" at the end. Unfortunately, this video cuts the coda a bit short. The version they play on XM goes on a for a while longer.

I'm Pretty Sure that's Not What Hoyle Says...

Earlier this week, my daughters attended a birthday party for a preschool classmate. One of the things they brought home was a Hearts card game. This morning, my older daughter, who is 4, was all abuzz wanting me to play the game with her. Not having played Hearts for ages, I figured that I would read the enclosed instructions to get up to speed. 'Twas an eyebrow raising experience indeed. I've scanned the image for your amusement, and you should be able to retrieve a larger size version by clicking on the image.

I'm pretty sure the only card game where you "talk tricks" is when you play strip poker with a hooker, and only after she's lost her "g star".

Since my daughter isn't quite ready to play a game of this complexity, we wound up sorting the cards by suit (or is that suite) and then sorting each suit pile in ascending order.