Friday, August 19, 2011

The Music of Pride

Music. Ah, music. I love music. Always have. Still do. I like to listen to it. I like to write about it. I like to discuss, dissect, and debate it. I collect it. I have records, cassettes, CDs, mp3s, VHS videos, and DVDs (but no 8-tracks, just because I don't have a player). The first thing I do in a new car is set the radio presets. I like having soundtracks to my memories. I like measuring distances by how many songs I can listen to before I get there.
And a lot of people can probably say similar things. But why me? Why do I love music? That is the question that was posed to me by a friend today. Why do I love music so much? Especially given the following: 
  • My personal music experience consists of the half year in the elementary school band (although I am not sure the valve trombone really qualifies as an instrument).
  • A little over two years of piano lessons which led nowhere.
  • And there was the six months I owned a cheap electric guitar where I played it exactly twice before selling it to someone else (and making a tidy profit, I might add).
  • Music was not prevalent in my childhood (my father didn't listen to music, and while my mother liked music, it was never a big deal around our house). 
  • I have no discernible musical talent.
  • I have no rhythm.
  • I couldn't carry a tune if my life depended on it.  
So why do I enjoy music so much? Why were mixtapes my favorite gifts to give as a youth? Why do I still make mix CDs and different playlists for people? Why do I spend so much time making mix CDs and different playlists for my own enjoyment? Why did I spend countless hours and years making "favorite hits" collections of 224 different artists? Why did I spend a good portion of 2010 creating 117 different "mix" CDs based on various moods/themes/etc.? Why did I create 40 CDs of music from around the world to compete in some sort of "music olympics" created in my head? Why is it that I try to not let a day go past without listening to some music, any music?

I have given a lot of thought about that throughout today. And other than the regular reasons people normally give (Music is universal. Music is primal. Music is romantic. Music is rebellious.), I was having a hard time coming up with something that made sense.But I think I figured it out. Kelly Clarkson.

That's right, Kelly Freaking Clarkson. Kelly Clarkson is the reason I love music.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Album Review - Shelly Fairchild's "Ruby's Money"

My first introduction to Shelly Fairchild's music came at some point in 2005 when I heard her rocking arena-rocker "You Don't Lie Here Anymore." Of course, the countrified banjo and twangy guitar gave me some pause, but I was getting used to good rock-and-roll being dressed up in their country finest to hide.* I relished the song (and in a world where videos are an art of by-gone days, that video was all kinds of kick-ass) and wanted to find out more about this artist.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Liquid Green Ninjas

I just saw a commercial for Frontline Flea and Tick Killer.
Apparently inside the little squeezy bottle there are warriors bred for battle with fleas and ticks. These warriors are green liquid ninjas running through the hair of a dog or cat, killing all the fleas and ticks they encounter.
But then the commercial mentions their green liquid ninjas kill the complete life cycle of these insects.

At this point we are witness to the indiscriminate slaughter of nest after nest of flea and tick eggs. 
Do I really need to know this product has introduced genocidal green liquid ninjas onto the skin of my pet? 
I thought we vilified Anakin Skywalker for doing that type of shit. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

HOA Tales

Are Home Owners' Associations the bane of human existence? I am not sure if I am ready to go that far, but my HOA really grinds my nerves into a fine paste. Then they take that nerve paste and mix it with lukewarm water to make a remedial glue. I believe at this point they sniff their homemade nerve paste glue and write their newsletters. I know of no other possible explanation.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Marbit this!

Everyone knows that Lucky Charms is the most incredible cereal in the entire world. It is a given fact that can not be disputed. Seriously. I know some people might say Cap'n Crunch, but those people are insane. Not even crunchberries can turn Cap'n Crunch into a contender. What exactly is he a captain of anyway? And what is with the damn abbreviation of your title? Methinks you are hiding something, Mr. Crunch.

But we’re here to discuss Lucky Charms. They are the best. No question. With milk in the morning or as a late night snack. A few in a little Dixie cup as a snack at my grandmother’s house. As a surprise in the college cafeteria cereal aisle which would be devoured by hungry students within hours. However you want to eat it, it is no doubt the best cereal of all time.

But all is not right in the world of deliciousness.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Let's Go Out to the Lobby... and Get Ourselves an Oscar. (Seriously, they are free when you upsize your popcorn purchase.)

In a tradition dating back to 2010, I have gone another year without seeing a single Oscar-nominated film. However, as a public service, I will still provide a brief synopsis of all ten (yes, 10!) films nominated for Best Picture this year.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Santa's PostSecret

During my yearly visit to the North Pole (the elves have an AWESOME After-Christmas Clearance Sale), I noticed a couple mailbags being lugged to the curb by Waste Management Elf. So I ask him what that was, and he said that Santa decided that he couldn't file EVERY child's letter to him every year, so some of them had to be recycled. I asked if I could review some of them for an article I was writing, and he said sure. The next two days I spent holed up in my igloo (helpfully constructed for me by Natolik, my Eskimo guide) reading various children's letters to Santa by the red light of Rudolph's nose. (The other reindeer were attending the Reindeer Games. I believe Shawn White won three gold medals. Blitzen was disqualified for using an antler-enhancer. The scandal rocked the Aurora Borealis!)

Three letters stood out to me that I would like to reproduce here. They were from a set of triplets, barely a year old, living in the state of Louisiana. The level of maturity and sophistication, as well as restraint, made me hope that Santa brought these three children everything they wished.

I don't believe anything more needs to be said that the letters don't say themselves, so enjoy!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy Wrapping 101

So the holidays are over and it has me thinking things I have never thought before. And no, I am not talking about resolutions. I am talking about philosophies. I am talking about ways of living. Things that will change your life. Things like ...

Wrapping paper.