30 July 2007

Musical Deja Vu

So what’s up with the music the kids are listening to these days? I've noticed three extremely popular songs on the radio right now that really don’t seem like they belong. It's like they come from a different era or genre and don't blend in with what you normally hear on the radio today. They are as follows:

1. RehabAmy Winehouse. This sounds like what the Supremes would sing if they were still performing and if Diana Ross hadn’t gone all bat-shit crazy. Actually, it might have been better suited to the Shangri-Las, they were more the bad girls of girl groups. Their song Remember (Walking in the Sand) is one of my very favorites [although, I must now digress into an lengthy and ranting aside—why do bands insist on putting parenthesis into song titles? It really bugs me. A lot. Like a lot. To an unnaturally disturbing degree, in fact. Like, (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction. I mean, what is that? Either call it “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” or just “Satisfaction” Make up your damn mind already. Or The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy). Or I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch). People don’t need to have the entire chorus of the song included in the title. Or Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin). Again, just pick a name and go with it. I always kind of liked New Order song titles because they didn’t actually seem to have anything to do with the song. OK, end digression]

{wait, secondary digression. I highly recommend clicking on the "Buy U a Drank" link above. So stupid, yet so funny. I also like the debate at the bottom of the page over whether this is racist or not by the always well informed YouTube community. It's an old gag, people, the uptight white dudes talking like black dudes, and vice versa. I mostly just like that the guy's delivery comes off like Chevy Chase doing Weekend Update.}

2. Beautiful Girls - Sean Kingston The description of this song says that it “samples heavily from Stand by Me by Ben E. King” Actually, it sounds exactly like Stand by Me, just with different lyrics. I mean, sampling usually indicates that the music or beats from an old song is played with like rapping or something over it. The old and new stuff is mixed together in an interesting way so that you recognize the old tune, but still identify the work as a new song. But this just seems so similar to the sound and style of the original song. It's like this could actually have been on the radio in 1961. There is also a remake of the song by someone named JoJo, which really sounds like a straight up 60’s girl group number. Is this the influence of Dreamgirls? Damn, that BeyoncĂ© is powerful.

3. Thanks for the Memories—Fall Out Boy. This one, especially the first part, really sounds like a Broadway show tune. The verse anyway, more so than the chorus. It’s like what you would get if the guy who wrote Rent was still alive and started a rock band. [Oh another aside, one of my guilty secrets is that I love Fall Out Boy. I know, just…shut up.]

So what's the deal? I'm not complaining, mind you. Any digression from the normal radio fare of crappy slow jams and boastful raps about shortys, rims, Cristal, and bling (or some combination thereof) is OK by me. And actually, I really kind of like all three of these songs. I don't change the station when they come on. And catchy is catchy, you can't fight that.

28 July 2007

Arts and Crafts

So, I often have stuff around the house that I think is cool, but that I'm not sure what to do with it. Such was the case with these really pretty glass balls. Actually they are glass floats that used to be used by fishermen to hold up their nets and crab traps and such. Anyway, I had 6 of them that were given to be by a friend when he moved. I recently bought one more at an antique store (the orange one, I was just so taken by the color. It's like I'm a house cat or something...ooh look...sparkly!)

Anyway, the recent addition of a new member to the glass ball family made me think I should do something with them. I had long ago cut them out of the rope net things that they had been in... while that may be practical for use in the fishing trade, I'm not going to be out angling with these things. And the thick-ish ropes make it hard to see the pretty colors. They had been sitting in a bowl on the dinning room table, looking like perfectly round multicolored fruit. But, they really needed to be somewhere where they get some light. Then a brainstorm...not on the dining room table, over it. A dowel, some fishing line, and a couple of hooks later...voilĂ !

Chandelier. Or at least, chandelier-esque.

Here it is the context of the dinning room as a whole:

Like it? I do.

21 July 2007

My best feature

Man, I practically just started this thing and already I am completely slacking. Alas, we can't fight our natures. I will once more resolve to do better.

In my defense, I've been busy at work, which is traditionally prime blogging time. Not to me, of course, as I am dedicated and diligent and doggedly on task, but you know I've heard that people blog at work. And that is all I will say, lest I get dooced. (actually, I don't even really do it at work, but being busy at work means additional thinking and typing is the last thing I want to do when I get home)

Anyway, I got a pedicure the other day...wanna see>>>>
(one of the few portions of my anatomy suitable for internet consumption)

I do love a good pedicure. It's always nice to have someone give you a lengthy foot massage, even if you're paying for it. And the polish colors are so entertaining. This one is called Maui Mango, which is not actually a particularly good name, but I couldn't find my new fave (the actually quite similar shade, 20 Candles on My Cake) and I wanted a change from my usual summer standby (I'm Not Really a Waitress, which looks similar in the website picture, but is actually really, really, red) Love that OPI polish. Pedicures are also good because even if you are heinously unattractive, pretty toes make you feel pretty.

Oh, and taking that photo of my feet (I'm lying on the floor of my home office with my feet up against the wall, in case you were curious. Note the painted paneling) made me realize this...I don't use my digital camera nearly enough. So you know what I'm going to do more of? Yeah, that's right...

11 July 2007


Here is how little it takes to make me happy.

On my way to work this morning, I stopped for a bagel. So, the problem I usually have with the people in the bagel service industry is this—uneven bagel halves. I believe that the bagel people slice so many bagels in a day, they don’t really pay that much attention anymore. Plus, it’s really early in the morning and no one really functions that well in the bright shiny new day. The bagel people are just alert enough to not slice off a digit with the big knife, but not so alert that they don’t leave me a bagel featuring one super fat side and one pathetically skinny side.

This is particularly problematic if like me, you plan to toast your bagel upon arrival at the office. When I place my mismatched bagel halves in the toaster, the skinny side gets extra crunchy and dark, while the fat side remains all bready and not so much with the toasty. Alas.

But not today. Today, not only was there a very cute new boy working behind the counter at the bagel shop, but he cheerfully presented me with a perfectly sliced, two-halves-of-equal-size, tasty whole wheat bagel.

Good morning to me.

08 July 2007

The decline and fall of civilized society

Sometimes I’m not too sure about people. I mean in general they seem ok, but I also sense a distinct and prevailing...impoliteness I guess you would call it, permeating the species. Basically, I don’t understand why people act the way they do. And I'm not talking about the big issues like, "why is there war and bigotry when we should all just be able to get along?" or "why do boys act that way?" I'm talking about little day to day choices that people make without considering how it might affect another person.

Case in point: the grocery store. So there's one register open and a number of people standing in line. Noticing this, the store opens another register. What should happen in this situation is that the person who is next in the original line should move over to become the first person in the newly opened line. Person number 3 can then decide whether to remain in the old line or switch to the new—based on which they think will move faster. Then the rest of the people can divide themselves accordingly. But what actually happens is this: the new line opens, the people in the back of the line see their chance to get ahead a make a break for it, and they end up ahead of the people who had been waiting patiently to pay for their purchases long before those back of the line people even got there.

Again, it’s a small thing, but it’s also an illustration of how people seem to look out only for themselves. As long as they don’t have to wait in a long line, it doesn’t matter how it impacts others. It's like the people who don't recycle because it's too much trouble for them to rinse out their yogurt container or break down their cardboard boxes or whatever. "It's just one soda can, how much damage can it do? Besides, other people are recycling, so that should take care of it, right?"

I know I sound like a grumpy 98 year old talking about how “these kids today got no respect” but to that 98 year old I say "word" Common courtesy people...get with the program.

03 July 2007

Howdy, former sort-of neighbor

In preparation for celebrating America’s birthday, I made a trip to one of my favorite institutions—the Public Library. I needed a suitably vacation-y book to read by the ocean, so off to the library I went. Ours is a good one, with lots of space and places to sit, plenty of terminals to access the card catalog (I still miss those little drawers full of actual cards though), and a great selection of books, books on tape/CD, CDs, DVDs, magazines, newspapers, and more.

But instead of talking about all that good stuff that is inside the library, let's talk about what’s on the outside. Specifically, the name on the outside.The LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library. On this day after Scooter Libby goes scooting right past jail on a presidential commutation, I thought it might be nice to take a look a statesman. While I wasn’t alive during his time as Governor, Collins seems by all accounts to have provided steady and compassionate leadership during a turbulent time and to have had a true dedication to public service. Check out his accomplishments.This site also enabled me to discover a list of the 50 Most Important Floridians of the 20th Century. Check out the bios on some of those folks, Florida has some impressive peeps. Plus a “top however many of whatever” list is always fun.

Also, I used to live right next door to The Grove, the Collins' family home. On the other side of their house is the Florida Governor's Mansion. A seemingly lovely 'hood. I'm sure when the Collins' first moved in, it was a picturesque residential neighborhood. But it is right downtown so the city has kind sprung up around them. This doesn't really affect the Governor's pad as it is surrounded by a pretty but substantial fence. And
The Grove occupies several acres (the sprawling grounds actually cover a couple of blocks. The house is bounded by First Avenue on one side and Third Avenue on the other. Needless to say, Second Avenue dead ends into their property line.) The rest of the neighborhood is a bit eclectic. Also located within a one mile radius of these locations: the Florida state capitol building, a tattoo parlor, the Florida Supreme Court, the Greyhound bus station, the northeastern edge of Florida State University, a halfway house, several auto body shops, an historic cemetery where Prince and Princess Murat are buried (he was Napoleon Bonaparte's nephew, she was George Washington's great-grandniece), an extremely seedy motel (which is actually called the Prince Murat Motel), and come to think of it...the LeRoy Collins Public Library.

This is the bronze statue in the small park across the street from The Grove and Governor's Mansion. Florida's Finest by W. Stanley "Sandy" Proctor, commissioned by former First Lady Rhea Chiles.