Wednesday, June 30, 2010

[30-Day Song Challenge] Day 28 - Sorry, Mr. Jack!

Day 30 - A song that makes you Rebecca feel guilty

After having no luck thinking of a good guilt-trip song, I asked Rebecca for her help, and she immediately reminded me of this song, one that apparently brings her back to a fateful car ride when we were in 4th grade, when we nearly gave her dad a heart attack. You see, we were traveling to or from an Odyssey of the Mind competition (we made it to the world finals, people), and Rebecca's dad (Mr. Jack) was driving us and two other friends. And lemme tell ya... Reba was a handful. She gave her parents hell. We would sit in the back and giggle and wonder what she'd say next, and just how far she'd push it until Mr. Jack would blow.

So on this trip, we're jamming out to the Crash Test Dummies on repeat, cruising along in the old Lincoln (see below for reference), and we stop at a gas station. And Rebecca decides to spend her hard-earned quarters to buy flavored condoms from the machine in the bathroom. Did we really know what condoms were for? No. But we knew they were baaaaad. And we knew it was hilarious that Rebecca was blowing them up like balloons in the backseat, making us giggle like crazy. But we really just didn't understand why, when Mr. Jack realized what the group of 9-year-old girls in his backseat were doing, flipped out and nearly ran us off the road. And got all red-faced and yelled and yelled. Well, in his own way. Bless his heart, that man is probably the sweetest human being alive. He survived Desert Storm and has exercised nearly every day of his life, but a pack of 9-year-old girls almost got the best of him.

And so this is Reba's guilt-inducing song. And mine too, Mr. Jack. I'm glad you survived all the trips with us. :)

The Crash Test Dummies "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm"

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Misheard Lyrics... Spanish-style.

So I'm driving to work this morning with my iPod on shuffle (which is hardly ever a good idea), and "La Bamba" pops up. A version with a little kid singing it from the August Rush soundtrack (point proven). So I'm singing along and am impressed of how well I am translating the words, and that my best friend (a high school Spanish teacher) would be so proud of me. Laaa laaa Bamba.

So when I go to look up the translation to further show off my skills, I realize that A) the only word I translated correctly was necesita, and B) necesita and arriba were the only words, aside from La Bamba, that I had even heard correctly. Yo no soy moy dinero a dis a de, a dis a de, a dis a de. Por que no?

Here are the Spanish and English words, according to Spanish Translation (and approved with  much laughter by Senorita Blumenfeld):

La Bamba - Richie Valens

The Original Spanish La Bamba Lyrics
Para bailar la bamba
Para bailar la bamba
Se necesita una poca de gracia
Una poca de gracia para mi para ti
Arriba y arriba
Arriba y arriba
Por ti seré
Por ti seré
Yo no soy marinero
Yo no soy marinero
Soy capitán
Soy capitán
Soy capitán

La Bamba translation into English
In order to dance the Bamba
In order to dance the Bamba
A little humor is needed
A little humor for me and for you
Faster and faster
Faster and faster
I'll be for you
I'll be for you
I'm not a sailor
I'm not a sailor
I'm captain
I'm captain
I'm captain 

A little humor for me and for you, indeed. Also, why does he get to be captain?

Monday, June 28, 2010

[30-Day Song Challenge] Day 27 - Hey Mama, Rock Me

Day 27 - A song you wish you could play

I desperately want to play the violin. Or any instrument in the violin family. While most people play air guitar or drums, I've always played the air fiddle. Even though I really have no clue what I'm doing. At any rate, this is one of my all-time favorite songs, and I haven't gotten to mention it yet, so I figure now is a perfect time to introduce  you to OCMS.

Old Crow Medicine Show - "Wagon Wheel"

Farewell, Explo

Our family's 1997 Ford Explorer finally bit the bullet. I say "our family's" much to the chagrin of my sister, who has been its driver for the past 9 years or so, and refuses to acknowledge that it was our mom's for several years before... most specifically during my 15th year of life, when I entered that awkward stage of having a driver's permit and begging my parents to let me drive them everywhere.

Regardless, it saw all of us through some good times, and it will be missed. A few examples:

+ It was in the Explo that middle-school-aged me and my crew of girlfriends developed and repeatedly rehearsed our parts to "Hail Holy Queen" from the Sister Act soundtrack. It was also in the Explo that I remember listening to my mother belt out Celine Dion, Reba McIntyre, and Faith Hill songs as if she were on a stage and no one else's ears mattered. (I'm also realizing now that this trait is apparently genetic... sorry, friends.)

+ Natalie went through somewhat of an interesting stage, in which she listened mostly to rap music and begged my dad to have boom-boom speakers installed. For some insane reason, he agreed, and for several years when you rode around with Nat, you entered your destination with ears ringing and hair all crazy. (She preferred to drive with windows down, ensuring that she shared her glorious musical tastes with the rest of our neighborhood.)

+ One Christmas, when we were home for the holidays, we decided to buy a camel from a manger scene display at Walmart and attach him to the roof. Yes, just the camel.(See above.) They've always been Nat's favorite animal of sorts. We had some good times and lots of laughs when our friend Britt asked us to pick her up from a rather sketchy club she for some God-awful reason decided to go to (Dothan was not at that time known at all for its assortment of bars or clubs.... it's getting better though). Anyway, we got some great looks and especially enjoyed embarrassing our friend as we picked her up outside of oh-so-inviting Club Rio with our friend the camel on top.

+ The Explo almost got its own personalized tag, with "Natho" (my sister's longtime and very questionable nickname) on an Auburn plate. This was the same time I was given my own personalized tag (with my initials and Auburn grad year), and Mom got her initials on an Auburn alum tag as well. Somehow someone convinced Mom that this was a bad idea for Nat, and she was spared.

With its well-worn 6-disc CD changer (loaded luckily in the center console and not in the back), the Explo took us on many trips and saw many crazy times. From New Orleans to the beach, to Atlanta, Auburn, Lake Eufaula, and back again. It drove through cow pastures, endured two 16-year-old drivers and one lead-footed driving teacher, blasted everything from Richard Marx to Master P, and always got us safely home. Until you quit reversing, and we finally decided it was time for you to retire. Explo, you'll be missed.

Friday, June 25, 2010

[30-Day Song Challenge] Day 26 -Just call me (insert name of famous clarinet player here)

Day 26 - A song you can play on an instrument

This is a stretch. I played the clarinet in 6th and 7th grade band, and I could possibly still pick it up and hammer out a few notes , but I'm hesitant to place any wagers on that. However, at one point in my life, little ole me could play THIS:

Or at least part of it. Go to 4:33. That's the best part. Hear those clarinets going bummm bumbumbummm... bummmmm bumbumbum... Oh yeah. That's the stuff.

(The whole song is actually quite lovely.)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

[30-Day Song Challenge] Day 25 - clarencecarterclarencecarterclarencecarterclarencecarter oohhhhhhh shh...

Day 25 - A Song that makes you laugh

"Strokin" by Clarence Carter

This song is ridiculous and hilarious and my friend David does an EXCELLENT karaoke rendition of it. Although he always mixes up his "east" and "west" and his dance is all off... But this video is simply amazing. What IS that clown thing? Regardless, the gem is the song itself.

He can always tell when she gets sassified.

Summer Reading List

I realize we are way into summer already, but I wanted to share a few books I'll be reading in the months to come. Sadly, it doesn't look like I'll be spending much time on the beach in my beloved Destin, Florida, but I have a baby pool in my front yard that does the trick will suffice to stave off the summer heat. Click on the book covers to get to their listings on Amazon for more details.What are you reading this summer? Anything I'm missing out on?

Recently, someone asked me what particular date in 2010 I was looking forward to the most, and the very first thing to pop in my head was August 24th, when Mockingjay is released. A little sad, I know, but geez it's going to be good. This is the third and final book in what is quickly becoming my favorite YA series I've read since Harry Potter.  Read my take on this series here.

I really enjoyed Shiver, the first book in this series. It's a twist on the teenage werewolf story, but Stiefvater's writing is truly beautiful and evocative with brilliant imagery (I literally shiver just thinking about parts of it), and the story simply broke my heart. I'm very much looking forward to this follow-up.

Laurie Notaru made a name for herself writing hilarious memoirs, and this is her first try at fiction, and in the magical realism genre (my personal favorite), no less. Author Jen Lancaster (whose blog is one of the funniest things I've ever read, by the way) got me excited about this one.

I've read and adored all of Joshilyn's books, beginning with gods in Alabama, which remains on my list of all-time favorites. She writes smart, funny, and realistic Southern fiction that you can't put down. So naturally I'm thrilled that her latest is finally in print, right in time for the summer. I've had the privilege to meet Joshilyn on several occasions when she came into the bookstore at which I previously worked for signings, and she's just a hoot. Hootenanny.

From Booklist: Scotch creates eminently relatable characters, with a particularly excellent understanding of the way sisters interact, and has the ability to craft scenes of real emotional weight, so much so that none of her flash-forwards or hocus-pocus is necessary." This is another one recommended by Lancaster, but also which I've seen on several book blogs I read, as well as reviewed (positively) in People and Cosmopolitan's summer reading recommendations. Should be a good one, and as someone extremely close to my sister and almost obsessed with the study of sibling dynamics, I'm finding that particular aspect incredibly interesting. 

This is one I've been resisting (I tend to shy away from books that warn you of their sad stories from the get-go), but I'm a sucker for a coming-of-age story, and again with the magical realism. The premise of this story centers on a woman who learns at a very young age that when eating, she can literally sense the emotions of whoever was preparing her food. And her mother's lemon cake was particularly sad. I'm intrigued. Plus I'm seeing raves about it everywhere. It's haunting me.

I've wanted to delve into this book for years. The poor thing has sat on my shelf neglected, and this summer, I'm going to read it. Sarah Addison Allen's books rank among my favorites. I've loved everything she's written so far. Like Joshilyn Jackson, she writes good Southern fiction, and sweet love stories, but always gives her characters a magical twist. A ghost in the closet here, a man who can sense a cake being baked from miles away there... I'm excited to know what she threw into her debut novel.

My friend Laurel literally greeted me with "Stop what you're doing and READ THIS NOW!!!!" last weekend. She made me laugh out loud saying there was a moment in the book in which she was so upset/overwhelmed, she literally threw the book across the room... and had to force herself just to go to sleep. The back cover teases you with, "Once you have read it, you'll want to tell your friends about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens. The magic is in how the story unfolds." And she agreed with that statement. All you know is it is about two women whose lives collide one fateful day. And I am officially curious.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

[30-Day Song Challenge] Day 24 - But I do

Day 24 - A Song you want to have played at your funeral

Ryan Adams - "Life is Beautiful"

And one of my favorite hymns as well:

"Here I am, Lord" (only a much more fast-paced version, please)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

[30-Day Song Challenge] Day 23 - Oh Happy Day

Day 23 - A song you want to have played at your wedding

I fully intend to have a full youth choir perform this before the ceremony:

Seriously. I'm not kidding. It's either gonna be BIG like that, or no music at the ceremony besides during the processional and before the ceremony begins.

I do, however, hope and pray I marry someone who is as passionate about music (and most specifically, Ryan Adams's music) as I am, and that he will agree to this as our first dance. The lyrics are really just gorgeous. And it is also one of Ryan's few true love songs.

Ryan Adams - "My Love for You is Real"

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Father's Day Ode

 An Ode to My Dad:

  • Who lived in a house full of women and still took my sister and me fishing on what I now realize were his only moments of solitude/quiet;
  • Who allowed obnoxious 13-year-old me to shorten his name and call him "Ferd," even though he hated it;
  •  Who is my go-to guy for all things car-, money-, job-, and sometimes even boy-related;
  • Who says he can't wait to marry me off so I find someone else to go to for these things, even though I know he secretly loves it;
  • Who sounds just like Yogi Bear saying "heeey booboo..." when he walks into a room and greets you;
  • Who tried his best to teach me to play softball, and to fish, and now to cook;
  • Who hoped I would learn from his mistakes, but doesn't get to frustrated when I don't;
  • Who understands that just because I moved a state away from home, doesn't mean I love my family and my hometown any less than the people who move home and buy a house down the street, because he did the same thing when he was 18;
  • Who gave me this crazy unpronounceable Cajun name, love of spicy foods, easily browned skin, weird accent, and smart-ass sense of humor;
  • Who has been rockin' a 'stache for nearly 40 years, even when they weren't in style;
  • Who I've tried to "fancy up" for years, but insists on wearing white sneakers with jean shorts and an oversized t-shirt around the house (and probably around the town when I'm not there);
  • Who taught me that the best sandwich combination of all time is any meat plus any cheese, add (original) Doritos and yellow mustard;
  • Whose personal assistant/errand runner I became the second I turned 16;
  • Who, at a younger age than I am now, became a dad and has tried for nearly 28 years to be a better one each and every year. And he has.
I'm gonna buy that man a big ol' boat someday.

And it wouldn't be a Father's Day Ode without a shoutout to Grandaddy, my mom's dad. Who gave me my first sip of beer (Coors Original). Who let me sit in his lap and steer tractors, trucks, and pontoon boats. And who later, once I could reach the pedals, taught me to drive on dirt roads in Henry County, Alabama. I'm very fortunate to still have him around. Even if he doesn't understand that sometimes I just can't answer the phone and am not ignoring his calls, and that cell phones aren't like "house phones," and I know he's fibbing when he says he didn't just call 15 times in a row. What a funny, funny man.

[30-Day Song Challenge] Day 22 - Boo Freakin Hoo

Day 22 - A song you listen to when you're sad

I'm a hopeless wallower when I'm sad. And although I don't really have a go-to sad song, here are a few I have distinct memories of listening to in times of despair, which of course caused me to pitifully cry and cry like I was in a terribly cliche movie scene. But it really happens like that sometimes, yall. Love hurts. Pitiful.

Willie Nelson - "Always on my Mind"

Jeff Buckley - "Hallelujah"

Don Henley "Heart of the Matter"

On a sidenote, when I was a little girl and DSPA used to rock out to this in the car, I thought the words were "evenin' evenin'" like ol' Don was just singing to the nighttime.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

[30-Day Challenge] Day 21 - Mighty to Save

Day 21 - A song you listen to when you're happy

To contrast with what you may think after yesterday's post...

I love praise and worship music. I think this stems from my time spent in a Southern Baptist youth group, but I find it hilarious that I also share this love with my sister and my Jewish best friend, neither of whom would be inclined to appreciate the genre, either because of musical snobbery or religious affiliation. Yet, when the three of us are together, we rock out. These are my two favorites, an old and a new.

And I can barely think of happier times.

An oldie: "God of Wonders" by Third Day featuring Caedman's Call
(This video is hopelessly CHEESE, but I couldn't find a better one.)

And my newest favorite: "Mighty to Save" performed by Hillsong United

Saturday, June 19, 2010

[30-Day Challenge] Day 20 - This leans on me

Day 20 - A song you listen to when you're angry

Best. Angry. Breakup. Song. EVER.

Works for when I'm angry about anything, though. Please listen at your own discretion, because when Damien is pissed, he doesn't hold back. I could say the same for most of us, but most of us don't have the musical talent to share it with the world and get it out. Thank God Damien does.

"Let me out, let me out, let me out, this hell when you're around..."

[30-Day Challenge] Day 19 - Higher and Higher

Day 19 - A Song from your favorite album

At the moment, it's The Killers - Live at Royal Albert Hall (2009)

The end of this version is awesome.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

[30-Day Song Challenge] Days 17 and 18 - The Radio

Day 16 - A song you always hear on the radio

"I and Love and You" by The Avett Brothers

I rarely listen to the radio, but I did go through a phase a few months ago where I listened online while at work incessantly. And it was during this time that I discovered my love for the Avett Brothers, because "I and Love and You" was playing nonstop. Almost to the point that I can't listen to it anymore.

But it is because of the Avetts, and someone's recommendations once knowing my love for them, that I've recently discovered Mumford and Sons, my favorite new band from the UK. They have this awesome bluegrass/rock thing going on, with a crescendo (my musical weakness) in almost every song. I would never call them dainty, but I love how you can tell they have excellent annunciation, as those Brits often do, and you actually fully hear the "t" sounds at the end when they say "heart," "start," and other words. Weird thing to notice? Maybe. But I do. (I think it's the result of having a mother who was a speech pathologist and chronic over-annuciator.) And no, "annunciator" is not a real word. Get over it.

Day 18 - A Song you Wish You Heard on the Radio

"Little Lion Man" by Mumford and Sons

(A warning - they drop the F bomb pretty blatantly in the chorus, so listen at your own risk at work.)

Monday, June 14, 2010

[30-Day Song Challenge] Day 16 - What does that even mean?

Day 16 - A song you used to love, but now hate

Kings of Leon - "Sex on Fire"

I don't really HATE it, so much as I loved it so much at the time the album came out, that by the time the media picked it up, I was already sick of it, and now it's a hopeless case. But I dang sure remember the first night I heard it, when I was visiting Nat up here in Nashville, and we couldn't stop ourselves from fist-pumping to the beat. Or something. Love the video, though.


I was inspired by humorist Tyler Stanton (love him) to CONFESS that...

+ I truly am a 14-year-old girl at heart. While my carefully crafted Facebook page may make me appear to be rather cool, I purposely exclude things like the following:
  • I <3 Glee and obsessively watch the episodes and listen to the soundtracks. On a regular basis. And I often cry and/or sing along when I watch. (Like my expert use of creating a heart out of mere numbers and other punctuation? Sexting, here I come! That was a joke.); 
  • Lately I've been reading books made for teenagers that might as well be Danielle Steele regurgitated to include vampires (and no, I'm not talking about Twilight... I've moved on to far worse pastures);
  • Seems I have more in common with my 17-year-old cousin than some of my friends my own age. Sample conversation from last weekend. Karly: "Hey did you watch 90210 this year?" Me: "Yeah! The finale was so crazy." Karly: "And Ian is soooo hot. OMG." Me: "Totally. Navid, too. Do you watch Vampire Diaries, because Damien is gorgeous and... " Karly: "No, that show is stupid. What are you, 14?" Uh huh;
  • I constantly rock out to musical gems like the soundtrack to Rent, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and Phantom of the Opera. Wait, I'm not embarrassed by that at all!
In my defense, apparently I'm not completely immersed in teen culture, because I always have to get Rebecca to explain to me what things like cmsu and rotflmao mean. She's a high school teacher and is always current with her slang and those crazy texting acronyms. Obvs. 

+ Every time my roommate makes cookies and puts leftover cookie dough in the refrigerator (she likes to cook them in small batches), I get so excited because I know that means sneaky cookie dough dessert for me! (One small spoonful at a time.)

+ I often read the last page of a book when I begin it. And if something is stressing me out, maybe if a character will die, or break up, I'll flip ahead to see if I still see his/her name in the text or interacting with this person or that. This is a big confession, and I expect the backlash from my librarian/book world friends soon.

+ Until Glee came along to further humiliate me, I thought the words to Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" were "Heaven's just a funny motion."

+ I LOVE filling out surveys. Whether it's filling out the paperwork at my doc office or one of those email surveys that go around. Perhaps this is relevant to the title of my blog. I like to talk about myself.

+ I got my sister fired from her first job. It's a funny story, actually. She's not at all bitter.

So what do you have to confess? Tell me things.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

[30-Day Song Challenge] Day 15 - yeah, she's happier now

I'm ashamed to say this 30-day challenge has so turned into a 66-day challenge (and counting, seeing as I'm only on Day 15). But what a day it is!

Day 15 - A Song That Describes You

Ryan Adams - "Dance All Night"

She ain't lonely now
See her shuffle 'cross the floor
Yeah, she's happier now
See her smile and say 'come on'

Let's dance all night
Let's dance all night
Let's dance all night
Yeah, I think she'll be alright

I ain't lonely now
Yeah, I've got someone I love
Someone I think about
Someone for me to take care of

And dance all night
Dance all night
Dance all night
Yeah, I think I feel alright

She ain't lonely now
See her shuffle 'cross the floor
Yeah, she's happier now
See her smile and say 'come on'

Let's dance all night
Let's dance all night
Let's dance all night
Yeah, I think she'll be alright

This is probably one of the Ryan songs that I find most meaning in. While it does describes me directly at times, the song is more of an inspiration for the girl I WANT to be. It's like a mantra I try to keep in my head for when I get down. I strive to be the girl who just lets it all fall away while I put on my dancing shoes and prepare to dance all night, cause I know it'll be alright.

Many of you many know I've been pondering a Ryan tattoo for several years now... I want the rose, but I've also always thought about some of the lyrics to this song along with it. Any thoughts?