A Day In The Life


I Like Dwight
July 30, 2007, 11:07 pm
Filed under: Music

Gee, I hope Matthew doesn’t get jealous, but I’m writing about a new man today.

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If someone were to ask me about country music, I would say that I am not a country music fan.  And I’m not, but there is something about Dwight Yoakam’s music that totally appeals to me.  Dwight burst on the scene in 1986 and his Kentucky-bred voice has been wailing from my speakers now for over twenty years.  His music is pure honky-tonk and I dearly love singing along.

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The Bakersfield Sound is a country music genre that emerged in the mid- to late 50’s as a reaction against the slickly produced Nashville sound.   Needless to say, the genre developed in honky tonk bars in and around Bakersfield, California.  Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and the Derailers are some of the innovators of the Bakersfield Sound.  And, in my opinion, Dwight Yoakam’s body of work has brought the genre to a whole new level. 

The Bakersfield Sound takes some stylistic elements from rock ‘n roll.  The music generally has a driving backbeat and a picking style of guitar playing rather than strumming.  Throw in some pedal steel guitar, a fiddle or two and sometimes a mandolin and you have the basics of the Bakersfield Sound.  Dwight’s instrumentation has fleshed out over the years, but he still stays true to the original sound. 

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Now, I know he’s bald under that cowboy hat, but with those skin tight jeans, cowboy boots and that totally cool attitude, Dwight is a force to be reckoned with.  His music speaks to me and I can imagine that walk on the ‘Streets of Bakersfield’. 

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Conniving Critters
July 28, 2007, 7:42 pm
Filed under: Africa, Jasper

 Sorry folks!  I just didn’t get my Fun Monday fridge pictures taken.  I’m a dinosaur that doesn’t own a digital camera.  My dog and cat are a lot more interesting than the inside of my fridge anyway!!  Enjoy and have a Fun Monday!

La, la, laaaa…..prrrrr…..if I roll around in this dirt…..la, la, la…….and get really covered with dust……prrrrr…..la, la…….then if I lay all crumpled up like this…..prrrrrrr…..she’ll think  I’m dead…..la, la, la, la, laaaaaa…..

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…..and she’ll be so happy when she finds out that I’m actually alive….prrrrr…..that she’ll give me a whole bowl of milk……la, la, la…….or maybe a can of tuna….purrrrr…ssst!…..what….?!!

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Hey!  You’re not supposed to be taking pictures of me looking like this!  What will everyone think?!!!!!  My hair’s all messed up and I’m so diiiirrrrtttttyyyy….yowl……hmmmm…..prrrrr…..at least my shadow still looks regal……

I can’t believe she had me working outside all day.  I’m so tiiiiirrrreeeedddd……I’ll just stretch out here…….yawn……and be real still……..yawn………and

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….she won’t make me go outside again………oh, this feels so good……zzzzzz…..zzzzzz…….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…………

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I can’t believe she woke me up with a camera flash……….



Good Moaning!
July 26, 2007, 10:15 pm
Filed under: Matthew McConaughey, Odds and Ends

Gawilli at Back in the Day tagged me with the best meme yet; a moaning meme.    Gawilli called it a license to rant so here goes!

Five people who will be annoyed you tagged them

* Jodi at Miller-Insight

* Karmyn at Dreaming What Ifs

* Pamela at The Dust Will Wait

* Susan at Slice of Life

* Tiggerlane at Neophyte Blogger

Four things that should go into Room 101 and be removed from the face of the earth

*  Pedophiles

*  War

*  The No Child Left Behind Act

*  All the calories in desserts

Three things people do that make you want to shake them violently

*  Talk incessantly about how busy they are.  We’re all busy.  Give it a rest.

*  Smack gum in inappropriate settings.  Ok, there is no appropriate place to smack gum except perhaps in the privacy of your own home.  I watched the president of our school board sit on the stage in front of thousands of people and TV cameras at graduation and he was smacking gum the whole time.   Inappropriate, unprofessional and just plain bad manners.  Or what about celebrities smacking gum at the Academy Awards…..ugh!

*  Arrive late for everything and expect others involved to accomodate and adjust because their schedules are far more important than anyone else’s schedule.  I find this attribute particularly distasteful in my students. 

Two things you find yourself moaning about

*  The end of summer vacation.

The end of summer vacation the slowness of my dial-up Internet connection.

One thing the above answers tell about yourself

*  I’m a teacher who likes to post pictures of Matthew McConaughey.

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Rules

*  Link to the original meme at freelancecynic.

*  Be as honest as possible so people will get to know the real you.

*  Try not to insult anyone unless they really deserve it or are very, very ugly.

*  Post these rules at the end of every meme. 



Stop to Smell the Flowers
July 24, 2007, 11:30 pm
Filed under: Nature

You’re only here for a short visit. Stop and smell the flowers along the way.   Walter Hagen

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                           Flowers are our greatest silent friends.     Jim G. Brown

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The garden is a love song, a duet between a human being and Mother Nature.    Jeff Cox

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Did you ever think how a bit of land displays the character of the owner?    Laura Ingalls Wilder

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          What this country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds.    Will Rogers

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Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower; We will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind.     William Wordsworth



Tiggerlane is My Friend
July 23, 2007, 10:38 pm
Filed under: Music, Odds and Ends

Tiggerlane , in a very friendly way of course, has been giving me grief all day about not mentioning her in my Fun Monday post on friendship.  The final straw was when she made a remark in an email that sounded like something an ex-boyfriend once said to me.  The ex-boyfriend told me I loved my dogs and cats more than I loved him.  What can I say?  He was right which is why he is now an ex-boyfriend.  I also have to state that Arkansas Songbird is not mentioned in Tiggerlane’s post on friendship.  ( I can’t let Tigger completely have the upper hand. )  But, here I am, out of the closet so to speak, admitting to all of blogdom that Tiggerlane is my real life friend.  We met each other in the early 90’s when I was the choir director and she was the pianist at First Presbyterian so we’ve been friends for something like 15 years. 

Music initially brought us together and music is a huge interest in both our lives.  We often move in different musical directions, but the art of music is something we both understand and music speaks to us in very similar ways.  We have had some major debates on the subject of music, but our friendship would be lacking if we agreed on everything. 

So, let me tell you one of my favorite stories about friendship with Tigger.

I am frequently asked to sing the National Anthem at various community events.  Those of you who sing know that the National Anthem is a difficult song to perform.  It ranges from low pitches at the beginning to quite high pitches at the end.  It requires some vocal flexibility and when singing the Anthem a cappella, the performer has to make sure they begin in a key that they can sustain through the end of the song.   In addition, if the singer is like me, the National Anthem moves them emotionally so self-control is mandatory.  You cannot cry and sing the National Anthem at the same time.  It just doesn’t work.

Several years ago, I was asked to sing the National Anthem a cappella at a Memorial Day service on the corner of our courthouse lawn.  I had sung for this event before and I knew how difficult it would be.  Many local dignitaries are on hand for the service and there are always a slew of veterans in attendance.  The flag is raised with military precision by members of the National Guard.  ‘Taps’ is played on the trumpet.  Most of the veterans are in uniform.  Some are in wheelchairs, some on crutches, their ages range from young boys to very old men.  At this particular Memorial Day service, we were honoring the first soldier from our county who was killed in Iraq.  His family was sitting on the first row of seats.  I had to sing the National Anthem toward the end of the service.  Needless to say, I was an emotional wreck.  I was fighting tears and trying to decide if it would be appropriate to sing with my eyes closed or, at least, not facing the large crowd gathered to honor the dead.  I knew I wouldn’t make it through the song if I gazed at the flag waving in the spring breeze so I decided to stare off into the distance slightly lower than the flag, but above the crowd.  I was introduced.  I moved to the podium, set my eyes on the spot I had chosen and began to sing.  Family members of the young man killed in Iraq began to cry.  I could hear them.  I kept singing.  I found myself staring at the mountains I love in the distance.  I kept singing.  Tears began to form in my eyes.  I kept singing.  I made it to the very end of the Anthem then made one tiny little melodic blunder.  I don’t know if anyone even noticed because I recovered and finished the song without stopping, but I knew and I was devastated.  To make an error with the National Anthem in front of veterans and their families who had sacrificed so much seemed unforgivable. 

I was weeping as I made it to my car and drove immediately to my friend’s house.  Tigger was still in her pj’s, but she welcomed me in with a quizzical look on her face.  She knew where I had been, but she wasn’t expecting me to show up at her house, much less in tears.  I sat in her living room and told her the whole story pretty much as I described it above minus the musical explanation.  And she understood.  No questions, no flattery, no platitudes.  Tigger understood what was in my heart and that, ladies and gentlemen, is one reason why I love her. 



Friends
July 22, 2007, 11:02 pm
Filed under: Odds and Ends

1.  A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts.  2.  Any associate or acquaintance…  3.  A favored companion….  4.  One with whom one is allied in a struggle or cause; a comrade.

There are my friends from childhood, playmates with whom I shared so much of my life.  Together we learned so many of life’s lessons and remained friends in junior high and high school.   As teenagers we shared our secrets, our dreams and our goals for the future.  We stole each other’s boyfriends, forgave each other, broke up with each other, broke each other’s hearts, cried, and laughed.  Somehow we made it through those turbulent and overly dramatic episodes that we were convinced could only be understood and fully appreciated by people our own age because adults could not possibly understand what we were going through.  We competed for the top grades in our classes, positions on the basketball team, and spots on the yearbook staff.  We practiced piano, performed in talent shows and sang in our church choirs.  We knew everyone in our home town and everyone knew us. 

There are the friends from my college years with whom I shared the sweet freedom and exhilaration of embarking on the journey to adulthood.  We pulled all nighters studying for finals, pulled all nighters doing things we had no business doing and together we dreamed of changing the world.  We came face-to-face with death when one of us left this world at much too young an age.  We made beautiful music, wrote poetry, drank wine and considered ourselves intellectuals.  We came to realize that we were very small boats on the sea of humanity. 

There are my friends from adulthood some of whom I’ve known my entire life.  Some of us keep in touch by email and some of us only catch up with each other once a year when we exchange Christmas cards.   There are friends I work with, friends I talk to almost every day, friends I pray with, and friends I run into at the post office or the grocery store.  We share our happiness, our problems and, most importantly, our time.  We talk of the past, the present and the future.   We have joys and sorrows, but, most of all, we have each other. 

I don’t have one best friend.  Each of my friends is unique in his or her own special way and they bless my life with the gift of their friendship.  Whether they are a part of my past or my present, they are the companions I journey with in this wonderful adventure called Life. 



LOL Cats
July 21, 2007, 10:00 pm
Filed under: Odds and Ends

I was surprised to see an article in Time about a WordPress blog.  WordPress lists its top blogs on the sign in page and I Can Has Cheezburger? has been on the list since I moved to this location.  Upon checking the site out, I found it was comprised of cute pictures of animals, primarily cats, with captions. 

Lev Grossman’s Time article is good read if you’re interested in technoculture and the phenomenon of lolcats.  According to him, I Can Has Cheezburger? gets 200 to 500 submissions a day.  The site webmaster is quoted as saying, “We think it has evolved beyond Internet subculture and is hitting the mainstream.”  I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve received quite a few emails of late with anywhere from four to eight captioned pictures of cats that were pulled from I Can Has Cheezburger?.  With compilation emails and an article in Time, I can understand why Mr. or Ms. Cheezburger ( the webmaster wanted to remain anonymous) feels the running gag of lolcats is going mainstream.  Grossman sums it up in his final paragraph.  “We may be witnessing a revolution in user generated content, but the more mainstream the Web gets, the more it looks like the mainstream: homogenous, opportunistic and commercial.  It’s no longer a subculture; it’s just the culture.  And don’t we have enough of that already?  Are we facing a future without a weird, vital, creative phenomenon like lolcats?  Say it with me: ‘Do not want!'”