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Archive for September, 2007

Determination

I’ll dodge my way for as long as it takes, throughRain

A million raindrops pelting the black asphalt, and under

A thousand gold and orange leaves from the tallest of trees, and into

A sun-filled, lazy autumn afternoon,

In order to run head-long into love.

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Photo: “Rain” from www.i-esfera.com/fotos

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Levi’s

I’ve worn Levi’s jeans since the eighth grade…thanks to my best friend who levis.jpgactually gained his fashion sense from his older sister.

Each fall, when the weather begins to change, I actually enjoy heading into the closet and emerging in the same comfortable Levi’s that I put up on the shelf a few months earlier. They just feel good on.

Of all the brands and all the styles of jeans that have come and gone, good old Levi’s still stand superior, not to mention the test of time.

Levi’s: Unlike all others.

(Disclaimer: This is not my ass.)

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Wordplay – Sequacious

September 28 and it’s a beautiful autumn day in Minneapolis.

Homecoming football games, crisp fall evenings, road side pumpkin stands, and pots of chili are all in order.

The word for today is se-qua-cious:

1) persisting in a continuous intellectual or stylistic direction;  2) disposed to follow another or others as a leader; 3) slavishly unthinking and uncritical.

If you don’t question and wonder out loud, then you succumb along with the sequacious herd in queue for a life of bland and boring.

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Much has been written on Senator Larry Craig’s ability to stare awkwardly through cracks, toe tap and give improper hand signals. I once found myself on the receiving *cough* end of a similar situation. 

Allow me to explain.

When I was 16, someone (perhaps Senator Craig), gave me hand signals from a mall restroom stall where he sat.  You see, while in high school I worked part time at a drug store located in a shopping mall. It was an old mall on the north end of town. A mall that had more store vacancies than actual retail outlets doing business.  The drug store where I worked was a center of activity at the mall, along with the Younkers department store.

RestroomPublic restrooms at malls are always tucked into nooks, hiding behind dimly lit corners. I suppose that’s why certain people attempt to get their freak on in them.  (I shudder at this, because a public restroom is SO completely and disgustingly filthy and therefore how is that atmosphere remotely condusive to doing anything sexual?)

So there I was. All of 16, standing at a urinal wearing my blue drug store vest doing my business. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I see a hand appear from under a stall wall. The hand is palm up and wagging side to side. The faceless dude with the hand under his stall wall says nothing. No grunting. No audible sounds whatsoever. Standing there, I have the urge to piss on this jackass’s hand. But he’d probably like that too much. So I zip up and leave.

I never went back to that particular mall restroom. The thought of someone lying in wait to do the nasty with a teenage boy freaked me out a bit too much. And I’m particularly thankful that I was never able to match a face with that hand I saw in my peripheral vision. What if it had been the mayor, the police chief, the Catholic priest, or the pharmacist at the drug store where I worked! 

Awkwarddddddddd!!!

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I know you’re all wondering, “Who sings that catchy song now featured in the Old Navy commercial?”

Fortunately, indie music artist Ingrid Michaelson began making the talk show circuit after several of her songs received air time on girlie show, Grey’s Anatomy. She was on Carson Daly recently and the cute little song from the sweater commercial is called, “The Way that I am.”

UPDATE: THE ATTACHED VIDEO IS THE OFFICIAL VIDEO TO THE SONG, ADDED DEC. 30, 2007.

By the way, girls who wear glasses like Ingrid’s…yeah…I like the smart, librarian look.

Enjoy the song.

Lyrics

If you were falling, then I would catch you.
you need a light, I’d find a match.

Cuz I love the way you say good morning.
And you take me the way I am.

If you are chilly, here take my sweater.
Your head is aching, I’ll make it better.

Cuz I love the way you call me baby.
And you take me the way I am.

I’d buy you Rogaine when you start losing all your hair.
Sew on patches to all you tear.

Cuz I love you more than I could ever promise.
And you take me the way I am.
You take me the way I am.
You take me the way I am.

 

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Al Franken smilesThe cantankerous former Saturday Night Live writer and cast member, Al Franken, is running for a U.S. Senate seat. Seems Franken wants to represent Minnesota in Washington D.C., for a variety of reasons none of which is more obvious than as U.S. Senator, Franken can be a proverbial thorn in the paw of every Republican ever born.

Current Republican Senator, Norm Coleman, is wasting no time attacking Franken’s positions (or lack thereof) and affiliations, including a full-page ad in the Minneapolis Star Tribune critiquing Franken for his financial support of the left-wing organization Moveon.org. Apparently Moveon.org attacked General Patreaus for his comments about the war in Iraq. Comments that I’m sure Al Franken KNEW Patreaus would make when he presented to a congressional hearing recently.

Please!

I’m not sure how this particular senate race will play out in the coming 11 months. But as an Independent, I get to sit by in amusement as the candidates get into their verbal fights with each other, hoping their idiotic chess moves will somehow win votes. Let’s face it, Franken’s odds are dim. He’s not even an actor, but a comedian. And he wasn’t even that funny. But dog-gone it, he wants people to like him.

Time will tell if Al can rally support among Minnesota voters. Stranger things have happened in this state, including electing a former pro wrastler as governor (thank God those days are over!).

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Blue

Blue represents oceans, skies, the uniform color of Union soldiers, alcoholic beverages, and moods. A government funded study indicated that blue (or shades thereof) is the most often cited “favorite” color by a majority of people surveyed.

Blue has long been the subject of artists who write and perform poetry, lyricists and musicians. The following several songs are pure blue, if not by title, by the tone they set.

For example, “My Immortal,” from the rangey voice of Amy Lee and her band Evanescence.

One of my favorite male voices, Chris Isaak, released “Blue Hotel.” I’ve never stayed in a blue hotel. I’ve stayed in a gray one and if memory serves it had a blue sign. I never felt blue during my stay though.

I have to be in a “mood” to listen to Enya, but when I am this song, “Caribbean Blue” seems to change my position – whatever it might be. The video is quite fascinating to watch as well – especially if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be part of a storybook.

Lastly, here’s ELO singing “Mr. Blue Sky” with animation provided by The Gorillaz. I was going to post the original ELO version here, but this vid is a lot more interesting.

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We all have them – stories. I suppose that’s why we get to start blogs and post whatever the hell we want, when we want – raw and unfiltered (unless you live in Turkey). Funny stories, happy stories, sad stories, stories of romance and looooooove, stories passed down from our Dads and Moms, and boring stories that have no apparent relevance or purpose of any kind.

But if we didn’t have stories, and someone to tell them to, they wouldn’t mean anything – no matter how important they might be to us.

Brandi Carlile titled this track and her CD “The Story.” Here’s a performance of that song cut around excerpts from Grey’s Anatomy. If the music, words and singing don’t haunt you, you must be dead.

The Lyrics

All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I’ve been
And how I got to where I am
But these stories don’t mean anything
When you’ve got no one to tell them to
It’s true… I was made for you

I climbed across the mountain tops
Swam all across the ocean blue
I crossed all the lines and I broke all the rules
But baby I broke them all for you
Oh because even when I was flat broke
You made me feel like a million bucks
You do and I was made for you

You see the smile that’s on my mouth
It’s hiding the words that don’t come out
And all of my friends who think that I’m blessed
They don’t know my head is a mess
No, they don’t know who I really am
And they don’t know what I’ve been through like you do
And I was made for you.

All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I’ve been
And how I got to where I am
But these stories don’t mean anything
When you’ve got no one to tell them to
It’s true…I was made for you

Ohh yea it’s true… that I was made for you

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Like the old oak tree that’s lived a long and healthy life, my Mom turns 87 on Sunday. Since she and Dad divorced in 1984, Mom has lived “down home,” not far from where she grew up as a kid. She’s been surrounded by her brothers and sisters in her senior years. Family means the  most to her and it’s what she needed most of all.

Since my kids were born, we’ve always managed to see Grandma at least once a year even though 700 miles separate us.  I wish it could have been more frequently, but it’s just not been so. My two teenagers know Grandma but they really don’t know her.

In recent years, Mom’s health has steadily declined from the inside out. Small strokes led to clumsy falls and broken bones. Her speech became only thoughts in her mind – unable to spill out coherently. She lost the use of her right arm and other faculties. Things we take for granted became humiliating disabilities to her.

But her heart keeps beating loudly and her will to live each day remains strong.  Like that oak tree, she has shaded and protected her family for the bulk of her life. Her hardest admission with age has been recognizing that she can no longer “do” for those she loves.

In October, Mom will be admitted to a nursing home and my aunt, who has lived with Mom for the past 12 years, fears for the worst. The youngest sister of the siblings, my aunt is 76 and shouldn’t be caring for a woman prone to falling down and who is unable to feed herself. But she has steadfastly been there, refusing to relinquish her concern and desire to take care of her big sister for as long as possible, just as my Mom took care of her little sis back in the 1930s.

That, my friends, is what family is all about. And though my aunt has cried and agonized over this decision that is in all rights overdue, she is doing what is best for my Mom at this late phase in her life.

When I see Mom on her birthday this weekend, I’ll present the usual flowers and birthday card. I’ll open it and read it to her and we’ll smile as her mind slowly pushes the words “Thank you” and “I love you” through her vocal cords. I’ll spend a day or two with her, helping her eat and making her comfortable…doing for her.

She’s touched all of our lives in countless ways, including the unending love she gives us all.

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In my always-on search for good writing, I peruse new blogs from time to time. Friday nights at 11 p.m., as my son lies sleeping on the living room floor…just for example.

I’ve been reading a blog for a couple months now that frequently offers some terrific writing. With a blog named “Wordsmith Extraordinaire,” one would expect good stuff. Extraordinary stuff, actually.

Here’s an example of the fine writing offered by Jill Terry, the aforementioned wordsmith. I particularly liked reading and re-reading this post and hope you’ll spend two minutes digesting it as well.

“Overwhelming,” by Wordsmith Extraordinaire.

And speaking of blogs, can I just say that one of my pet peeves is reading super-long and boring posts that go on and on ad nauseum. Writing post upon tome-length post should be outlawed. I mean, I really can’t add even the best of blogs to my blogroll if I can’t read a new post in a few minutes.

I live by this “life’s too short to waste it standing still” approach and it applies to blog posts as well. I think web logs were invented to give us all a place to convey our thoughts or talents in a direct and brief way. If there’s a novel inside of you, go write a fricken novel…using your computer and hard drive – not a blog.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

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