Friday, February 24, 2006

Spooky!!!!

Today's horoscope: "You really don't need a boss to tell you what to do; you already know. Neither do you need to be told about your shortcomings or what you didn't accomplish. You tend to remember your failures and are painfully aware of your own baggage. Often your awareness works in your favor. Now, however, you gain nothing by being so hard on yourself. Practice forgiveness and start with yourself."

As I stated in another post (somewhere in mid-January), I am my own worst critic. If something goes wrong on my watch and I appear angry when you call me on it, believe that I am never angry with the critic but a million times angrier at myself.

Luckily, I haven't had a beat-myself-up episode in a while -- and I hope I won't have another for quite a while. I'm learning about forgiveness, especially self-forgiveness. I'm trying very hard not to be so difficult on myself. It's awfully hard to change 35 years plus of a habit like this. However, I have the best friends in the world who just love me up. And coworkers (especially a couple in particular) who refuse to let me put myself down. You gotta love that.

Naturally, I turn to music when I am feeling down. There have been lots of great lyrics that have helped me ... this is one of my favorites. I've learned to believe it......

One day I was on the ground
When I needed a hand
Then it couldn't be found
I was so far down that I couldn't get up
You know and one day I was one of life's losers
Even my friends were my accusers
In my head I lost before I begun

I had a dream but it turned to dust
And what I thought was love
That must have been lust
I was living in style
When the walls fell in
And when I played my hand
I looked like a joker
Turn around fate must have woke her
Cause lady luck she was waiting outside the door

I'm winning
I'm winning
I'm winning
I'm winning and I don't intend on losing again

Too bad it belonged to me
It was the wrong time and not meant to be
It took a long time and I'm new born now
I can see the day that I bleed for
If it's agreed that there's a need
To play the game and to win again

I'm winning
I'm winning
I'm winning
I'm winning and I don't intend on losing again

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Silver Thoughts about Golden Throats 2

Having sufficiently given this CD a whirl or several last night, all I can say is this -- it's as gloriously wretched as the 1st one, and maybe even worse. I posted a few comments last night (see below) and now have a better take on the songs themselves:

1. John Shaft -- Sammy Davis Jr.
The most soulless "Shaft" I have ever heard. Now, I love Sammy -- I am definitely a Rat-Pack kind of girl. This makes me long for "The Candy Man"....... I'm serious as a heart attack.

2. Sunshine Superman -- Mel Torme
I was disappointed. I was truly expecting a scatted-up version from the "Velvet Fog" and just got a pedestrian rendition instead.

3. Light My Fire -- Mae West
Now this is wretched stuff at its (er) finest. But then again, so was her "Twist & Shout" from Volume I. She has a great back-up group on this one -- far better than the non-singers on "T&S." And it's certainly more within her limited vocal range. Still, it's NEVER gonna make me forget Jim Morrison.

4. Hey Jude -- Bing Crosby
Serviceable rendition. Great for Open Mic Night at the local Elks Club, but nothing I'd have put to vinyl. And I love Bing's stuff too, but not this!

5. All I Really Want To Do -- Sebastian Cabot
From the (er) classic Sebastian Cabot, actor. Bob Dylan, poet. Dramatic readings with musical backdrop. He singlehandedly butchered Dylan, and that's just wrong on 10,000 levels. Give me the Byrds anyday!

6. Put A Little Love In Your Heart -- Leonard Nimoy
If this was the only version of this song, it would seriously make me consider hatred as an occupation. Thank God for Al Green & Annie Lennox (my favorite version of this song, from the movie Scrooged).

7. It Was A Very Good Year -- William Shatner
It was a very bad idea.

8. Dixie Chicken -- Jack Jones
It sure beats the hell out of Garth Brooks' remake (and that's just because I got over Garth Brooks long before he got over himself). Again, this isn't gonna make me forget Little Feat anytime in the next millennium. Strangely enough, I did play this one several times... but it's because I love the song and was singing it as Little Feat did.

9. In The Ghetto -- Sammy Davis, Jr.
A 7.2 on the Richter scale, all due to Elvis' turning in his grave at this butchering of an already bad song. This makes me long for "Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow" (the theme from Baretta, done by Sammy).

10. Nights on Broadway -- Chad Everett
A perfectly good Bee Gees song, completely devoid of soul, emotion, and life in the hands of Dr. Joe Gannon. Wait a minute.... wasn't Joe Gannon the partner of Joe Friday on Dragnet? When did he become a doctor, after leaving the force? Oh wait... that was Bill Gannon. Ah well. At any rate, this is bad. Not totally wretched, but pretty dang bad.

11. Stand By Me -- Cassius Clay
Okay, this one shocked me. It wasn't that bad. It wasn't great, and it certainly wasn't gonna make me think "He missed his calling, going into boxing instead of singing" -- but it wasn't bad. Until..... the final chorus: totally off-beat, and occasionally off-key. Like he'd already been punched a little too hard. But overall, 7 stars outta 10.

12. Bridge Over Troubled Water -- Senator Sam J. Ervin, Jr.
Sam Ervin, senator. Paul Simon, poet.

13. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction -- Phyllis Diller
Horrendous. Awful. Missung lyrics. Poor voice control. Makes William Hung sound like Mick Jagger. And worst? A comedy routine stuck in the middle. This had to be intended as a joke, right?

14. Give Peace a Chance -- Mitch Miller & The Gang
Okay, I thought Phyllis Diller and Mae West were the worst things on this CD. Not even close. After hearing this, John Lennon shoulda taken his happy warm gun and used it to shoot up the master copy of this song. And to shoot the snark right outta Mitch Miller (not him personally, just all his snark). Mitch "Oh, I'm So Much Better Than All This Music So I'll Make It Fit *My* Sense Of Style" Miller. POX!

I shall review Volumes 3 and 4 once I get them (and at decent prices).

Friday, February 17, 2006

To the seller on eBay/Half.com...

who sold me my copy of "Golden Throats 2"...... I LOVE YOU, MAN!!!!!

I am in intense and utter enjoyment at the wretchedness of these renditions! Let me share with you, the general public, these delights:

1. John Shaft -- Sammy Davis Jr. (note: "John Shaft"??? Not "Theme from Shaft"??)
2. Sunshine Superman -- Mel Torme
3. Light My Fire -- Mae West
4. Hey Jude -- Bing Crosby
5. All I Really Want To Do -- Sebastian Cabot
6. Put A Little Love In Your Heart -- Leonard Nimoy
7. It Was A Very Good Year -- William Shatner
8. Dixie Chicken -- Jack Jones
9. In The Ghetto -- Sammy Davis, Jr.
10. Nights on Broadway -- Chad Everett (and for those of us of a certain age, remember "Medical Center" and "Emergency" and all those shows from the 70s? Speaking of, Julie London of "Emergency" fame (Nurse Dixie) is known to have a few singing clunkers herself....)
11. Stand By Me -- Cassius Clay (Hey, this ain't all bad .... Ali sounds better than more than a few of these dudes)
12. Bridge Over Troubled Water -- Senator Sam J. Ervin, Jr. (yes, THAT Senator Ervin, of Watergate hearings fame)
13. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction -- Phyllis Diller
14. Give Peace a Chance -- Mitch Miller & The Gang

A true monument to overinflated egos and too many yes-men.

I can't wait to get my hands on Volumes 3 & 4.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Talk about your revolution....

It's Independence Day!

Today is the one-year anniversary that I left my old job. I cannot believe what a remarkable year it has been. I remain amazed by the changes I see in myself. I am stronger, happier, more confident, prouder of my work, happier, loving life, laughing more, happier.....

One year ago today, I left work in tears, sad at leaving but excited about the future. I stopped and signed the papers on my new (okay, "newsed") car as well. New car, new start.

One year ago, I had no new job waiting in the wings. Boy, talk about scared crapless.... that went against every principle I had at that point. But I decided I was still young enough and employable enough that security was not as much of an issue as I had feared. I had always played it safe; it was time to risk some things.

One year ago, I went to bed and slept totally soundly that night -- not a toss or turn. I had an interview the next day (didn't pan out, but no matter), and I was on my way.

For roughly 11 weeks, I sat at home. A smattering of work came my way, along with lots of interviews. Two of my dearest friends helped me take the vacation I desperately needed -- their generous love and care are not taken lightly and cannot be repayed! Those weeks at home were exactly the prescription I needed for my future: a healthy dose of rest, overflowing measures of laughter, and bountiful heaps of renewal.

To all my friends who have seen me through this last year, my love for you is immeasurable..... honestly! You have witnessed my lowest lows and rejoiced in my highest highs. Celebrate Independence Day with me!!!!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

These are a few of my favorite Kitschy things....

As if you didn't know (or couldn't guess) by now, I am a lover of kitsch.

From Merriam-Webster Online:
Main Entry: kitsch
Pronunciation: 'kich
Function: noun
Etymology: German
: something that appeals to popular or lowbrow taste and is often of poor quality
- kitsch adjective
- kitschy /'ki-chE/ adjective

So here are a few of my kitschy favorites (no order at all):

Strange Music:
1. The Golden Throats collections: Rhino Records, I love you. You have assembled for me some of the worst of the worst. I own Volume One and am planning to add to this very soon with Vols. 2-4.

2. Prozak for Lovers: I own this. I love it. I am also planning to buy Volume 2 very soon..... a must-have!

3. The entire Ultra Lounge series. There is just something about weird "exotic" music -- or at least what passed as "exotic" music in the late 50s and early 60s. I kind of have this weird thing about this time frame -- I love it. I think it would have been kind of cool in a weird freaky way to be a hausfrau during this time, to have cocktail hour every evening with some of Hubby's business friends, to have a Tiki room for entertaining ... think Sissy Spacek in Blast from the Past. Yeah, I know. Bizarre, right? Still......

Bizarre album covers:
I do miss album covers. That's something that the CD medium has taken from us. Back in those days, it was another way for the band to express itself -- by having jam-up covers or wacked-out ones. I personally was very fond (at the time) of the rip-it-open, full-length cover for John Travolta (back in his "Ba-ba-baaaa-ba, Barbarino" days). Here are some sites with some strange (and sometimes some laff-yer-ass-off) covers.

1. Mental Drippings' List -- for some of the worst of the worst! And do NOT forget to press "next entry" to see even more. The one that will have me laughing and crying in little time, every single time? "The Many Facets of Roger" (his commentary -- oh my God!)

2. Nick DiFonzo -- author of 2 collections of Bad Album Covers. GREAT stuff here!

3. Show and Tell Music -- this, folks, is my very favorite site. It isn't that the covers are all bad -- on the contrary, some in the "exotica" categories are in fact rather good (especially for their time and the usually bad music contained therein). This is a HUGE collection, everything from lounge stuff to Christian records (usually homemade).

More kitschy-type stuff to come!!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Random thoughts for a Tuesday....

Oh My God. What can you say about some of the Idol contestants from Boston (tonight's show) other than "My EARS!!!! My EARS!!!! Make it STOP!"

***

Today, I received a package in the mail from the Bear Hug Brigade.... a group of ladies who take it upon themselves to send a care package when their friends are hurting -- or just need an extra boost. I got my bear today -- a beautiful tan bear with a flower embroidered on its chest. And enclosed was a sympathy card on the loss of Tee. It was especially poignant, since today is the 2-week anniversary of her wake.

And as I also sit here and type, I see the packet of bracelets I bought from The Breast Cancer Site -- 2 each of 3 styles, with a portion of the money going to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. I've decided to name the bear "Little Tee" and use it as a reminder, both of my friend, and as a personal reminder never to let my own awkwardness get in the way of what is really important in life.

***

Got a great compliment at work today. One of my tasks is to help the CFO by working on a specific file that he uses as a backup (really, more of a complement) to our database system. I really flubbed the December file up badly -- caused me huge stress a few weeks ago. I was determined that January would be much smoother and done sooner.

Less than a week into February, the January file is complete -- from BOTH sides (mine and his). And I have my February working file ready to fill in tomorrow morning (and all month long). The CFO's e-mail to me was very complimentary of the hard work that had gone into the January file.

My boss helped me tremendously -- there was one day where my figures were off and I couldn't figure out why. She showed me where my error was, and gave me a new perspective on how to do something. It worked VERY well, and I intend to incorporate that into this month's file.

***

And isn't life great when you're listening to your radio -- one of your very favorite songs comes on, and it's one that hasn't been burned to a crisp -- and you break into a huge smile, thinking of some memory that goes with it, or a great time in your life (if no specific memory is attached)? I wish that feeling could be bottled.....