Sunday, December 31, 2006
I turned over the pretty leaf on the road one day when taking a walk. The back was not coloured at all. All of the leaves from that tree were the same with the back of the leaf being whitish grey and the front colourful. Some people want the perfect leaf only to find when it's turned over, it's not what they expect. It's just dull and colourless but it's still the same leaf.
My daughter leaves again today. I'll miss her lively presence. Things will be quieter and quieter.
Music for today: New Years Eve by The Walkmen, a link to Take Me As I Am by the October Project, and Just My Soul Responding by Smokey Robinson.
Friday, December 29, 2006
There's ice on the pond. We had below freezing temps overnight and finally some ice is forming. Not all that long ago, when the kids were young, we would be skating on the pond during Christmas vacation. It's proof to me that the weather has changed a lot because I've not been able to skate on the pond since Feb. or March 2003. Even then, there was a large open area. It would not have been suitable for children.
Lots of visitors have been around. It's great but I haven't done my promised visits to others. I find it very easy to stay home. Tomorrow night is a friend's annual Eve Eve Party. We'll definately be making an appearance at that. It's big and crowded and the dance floor is always packed and we have a blast. We're tired of leftovers so we're eating out first. Not turkey or ham or lobster....anything else is fair game.
A couple of songs for the music page. Just random favorites......I've been listening to latin all day but these are not. The first is a song I love. I have the Blind Boys of Alabama version up already but this one I love the best. It's People Get Ready by Phoebe Snow and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Tupelo Honey by Van Morrison was a lways a favorite of mine. When I first heard A Night in San Fransisco and heard this version with Brian Kennedy beginning and Van coming in, I almost melted. It's SUCH a great version! Enjoy!
Thursday, December 28, 2006
My friend from the Arctic was here for a great visit this afternoon and helped me install and use an external hard drive. I can now stop making cd's to save the music collection. I may put the music and photos on dvds as well.
You'd think I was really embracing the techno age with the external hard drive but what is amazing is that I bought and set up an mp3 player yesterday. It's the last straw. People will now be subjected to me singing off key to the music playing on earbuds in my ears. The world is not ready but I can't help but sing....and dance.....no, the world is not ready for me with an mp3 player.
Music: From I'm Your Man, the tribute to Leonard Cohen, is Teddy Thompson's version of Tonight Will Be Fine. Another great cover is of Carole King's Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow
by Amy Winehouse. I love the percussion in it and both fine songs are worth a listen. I keep finding I've already uploaded songs that I recommend so I just link them...easier for you.
It is twenty thrree years today I lost my brother to the side effects of a bone marrow transplant. A song for him too...
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Could there be a worse Christmas for soul and blues lovers with, after Dutchie Mason's passing, we hear the news of the Godfather of Soul, James Brown? I couldn't believe it, really. I truly wanted to name my firstborn after him but got reasoned out of it.
Today's music, of course, is all from James. One I'd never heard him do, Your Cheatin Heart, is already up. Here's the link. The other two......well let's say I've danced to these tunes tons of times and still when I have serious house-cleaning to do, they're first in the cd selection. This version of Sex Machine is pretty darn good and Get Up Offa That Thing is such a classic. I knew heaven was going to be special this weekend.
Oh the food in this house! Turkey, ham, lobster, potato salad, leftover mashed potatoes and veggies, fruit, desserts, drinks, candies and chocolate and nuts and on and on and on.....I'll feel guilty later but for right now, I'm enjoying it. My kids just arrived with their biggest friend and made a dent in the turkey and bread but only a dent.
My grandson is three today. The alien age, I think.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
I woke this morning to hear the news that my Maritime hero, Dutch Mason, had died. I was shocked. Even though he had been ill for years, to hear such news surprised and saddened me. I've been a Dutch Mason fan since the early 70's years in my Saint John years where he played often. I have most of his albums and lots of great memories of his always wonderful and unique performances.
Once, in the early 80's, I was working evenings and Dutch was booked to play a week at a Charlottetown nightclub. I took a week's vacation and went every night and was so glad I did. He was remarkable.
The last time he played in PEI, a lot of my friends were in various places in the club on a hot summer night. No one was dancing and I wasn't about to be the one to begin. Everyone headed outdoors during the intermission and I arranged that everyone (my friends) get up on the first beat of the first song after intermission and head to the dance floor. We all did and the party began. We had a real blast. I got an autograph from Dutch that night and saw the really devastated appearance of his hands. He was no longer playing at that time in the early 90's.
The last time I saw/heard Dutch was in Nova Scotia. About four years ago, S and I went on a little overnight camping trip to Joggins and Parrsboro to satisfy my fossil jonesing. Turned out that Dutch was playing at the Ships Theater in Parsboro that night. We were too late to get tickets but the Ships Theater is an old boat with a tarp for a roof. We sat out on the deck on that hot summer night and drank beer and listened to the master. While everyone was inside sitting in their seats, we were outside, inches from Dutch sitting in his wheelchair, waiting to be introduced. I kept my cool and didn't fawn or bug the man.
He was truly a master and was aptly named the Prime Minister of the Blues by BB King. I want to have my old albums preserved digitally or on cd somehow. They've always been considered treasures of mine as there really aren't a lot of those old albums around.
You'll certainly be missed Dutch Mason, but you'll get to join your old friend Rick up there and I can well imagine Heaven's going to be filled with the blues tonight.
For Dutchie fans here's a link back to Hard Times on my music page and I'm uploading Nine Below Zero, Walkin Blues and Baby Please Don't Go for today. I've also included them on my Christmas Eve playlist that I make every year tha I'm about to burn so we can all hear it tonight. I wish I could have a copy of Dutch's version of Alright, OK on my computer. He does a better job of that song than anyone, in my opinion.
I was subjected to the worst radio segment I've ever heard on CBC this morning. Michael Enright had voice coaches attempt but not succeed to teach him to sing and it was truly awful. I was in the bathtub and momentarily thought of hauling the radio in to stop the pain. Luckily I couldn't reach that radio. That we Canadians paid for this CBC piece and were subjected to this crap was beyond belief. Thankfully the music for the rest of the program was good, preventing Michael Enright of having had the absolute worst program of the year, just segment. Heather Bambrick saved Michael's butt; she was fabulous!
I have a favorite Christmas song version and I can't find it. I usually hear Tom Jackson's version at least once during the season on CBC, but not this year. Crash Test Dummies has a pretty good version. Here's The Huron Carol. For a Christmas present, a great version of Besame Mucho from the vaults. My Christmas collection may be exhausted, but never versions of this great song. Here's Nana Mouskouri.
A young people's party here tonight. They can party here late into the night because nothing wakes me but the smell of smoke, so they smoke outside, and thumping which has stopped now that the boys aren't 14 and 15 and wrestling anymore. I'll have a great time until 10 or so then turn in and dream of sugarplums. All sounds good to me.....a Merry Christmas!
Saturday, December 23, 2006
I'm not into Christmas music but have a bit that could qualify. The Pogues, Fairytale of New York is a good example. It's not really a traditional Christmas song but is popular this time of year. Sarah MacLaughlan's version of Joni Mitchell's River will never match Joni's raw emotion but is worth a listen. It's good at any time of year but is more popular during the winter. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas is the traditional and this version by Christine Aguilara is pretty nice.
Tomorrow the kids are here and are having friends in in the evening. It will be nice to have some noise.
Friday, December 22, 2006
I had to pass on these helpful hints from ny friend Mrs. Dash. We can all use help during this busy holiday season. Seem like I can't change the colour of the following text so it must be highlighted to read.
1. If you are choking on an ice cube, don't panic. Simply pour a cup of boiling water down your throat and presto! The blockage will be almost instantly removed.
2. Clumsy? Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.
3. Avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat by simply using the sink.
4. For high blood pressure sufferers: simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins. Remember to use a timer.
5. A mouse trap, placed on top of your alarm clock, will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.
6. If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives, then you will be afraid to cough.
7. Have a bad toothache? Smash your thumb with a hammer and you will forget all about the toothache.
8. Sometimes, we just need to remember what the rules of life really are: You only need two tools - WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.
9. Remember: Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.
10. Never pass up an opportunity to go to the bathroom.
The fridge is full, the presents are finished and Christmas can now happen.
Our dinner party with old friends of thirty years was wonderful. In the early 80's we had a series of 50's parties. We looked at the photos from those parties last night and oh, they were great! Two of our friends are no longer with us and to see photos of those two having fun and looking like they'd live forever was awakening in itself. Out last party was "The Prom" and we had photos taken under the 1950 sign. I was pregnant at the time so I looked like the pregnant high school girl at the prom. Too funny!
I suggested that now we're all in our 50's we should resume the 50's parties but with the 50's meaning something different all together. No, we won't be discussing menopause or our aches and pains.
I don't have 50's jive music in my collection but have a couple of songs from that era that bring back my childhood. Catch A Falling Star by Perry Como and Que Sera Sera by Doris Day.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
My darling daughter has made it home from Calgary. They left Saturday morning and arrived yesterday morning. She's all in one piece - not even road weary, just glad to be home.
I actually have to cook and feed people for the next week seeing that I have two children home so I have to get some groceries today. The cupboards have been pretty bare. I have a dinner party in town this evening so will go in early and get final preps for Christmas and food. A rarity these days is that the dinner party is not a potluck. I am not supposed to bring anything except something to drink because they're serving wine, which I am allergic to. It will be great not to cook for once.
I've made a cd of dinner music for tonight and while going through some music I found some I'd forgotten about. It's not dinner music but one cut for today is God's Gonna Cut You Down by Johnny Cash. It reminds me of Dylan's, Gotta Serve Somebody. Another cut is an old one that I always liked. Some would consider it cheesy but I like it....One Less Bell To Answer by The Fifth Dimension.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
We blew second round in trivia last night after placing first in the first round. It goes without saying though, that we had lots of fun. We are not going next week even though there is trivia. We'll all be busy eating leftover turkey.
Music: Let Me Down Easy by Bettye LaVette and Bruce Springsteen's Long Time Comin'
Sunday, December 17, 2006
It's finally here...the last party of the year at my work. I have a finish up day for the year next week and then that's it. Whew! It's been a siege to say the least. S. is coming out to volunteer and have a free dinner and then we're coming back here to have a drink or two and celebrate another year finished. Did I say Whew!?
I heard from my daughter last night. They were close to entering Manitoba, making good time and there was not a blizzard. It was snowing but not too bad. Our weather is warm and sunny. People are complaining about the lack of a white Christmas. Bah!
On the radio right now is kd lang's version of Leonard Cohen's song, Halleluja. The song before that was Ray Charles', Halleluja, I Love Her So. The segment is a kind of special on the word Halleluja. I have lots of versions of Halleluja and a few up on the music page. I also have Ray's song up already. Here are a few more Hallelujas in honour of the last Christmas party. To add to Allison Crowe, kd, Jeff Buckley's versions are a powerful one by Rufus Wainwright and the original by Leonard Cohen himself.
Friday, December 15, 2006
My daughter is leaving on Saturday to drive across the country....in winter. I will be a mess until she arrives home. She could have flown but wants the adventure of driving across the country with her friends. I asked her why she didn't choose the summer to do that. It's a long ride in cold, snowy weather. We've not had the snow or cold in the east but western and central Canada has. We're back up to 8 degrees - very springlike and much appreciated by me.
Music today: It Takes a Worried (Wo)Man from my favorite Friday album, The Skiffle Sessions and You Are Always on My Mind by Willie Nelson.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Mine is not freezing yet and I wanted ice photos.
We didn't do very well at trivia last night. We crossed out lots of correct answers after our discussions....but what do you do? It was S's birthday yesterday and mine is in three weeks. I don't like them so much any more. My friend who shares my birthday; day and year, had her head on my shoulder kind of wimpering about it too. Maybe next week I'll suggest we cancel aging this year.
Music: Young Man's Blues, a short ditty from Mose Allison and Enjoy Yourself (It's Later Than You Think) by Louis Prima.
Monday, December 11, 2006
- Three songs received no plays this month. One was My Humps by the Black Eyed Peas. One other month it received none and then the next month it was 22, then 2, now zero again. Al Green's version of A Change Is Gonna Come was another. I have lots of versions of the song up there and the rest received plays but NOT AL GREEN???? The third was the lively, Mirada Latina by Vilma Diaz y la Senora
- Those receiving 20 hits were: Shirley Hornes version of There's A Boat That's Leavin' Soon For New York, Harpo's Blues by Phoebe Snow, Baila Moreno by Mana and Zuchero, Old Fashioned Morphine by Jolie Holland, Heartbeat by Jose Gonzales, Llave de Paso by Negra Luca, both The Haircut and Lies by The Waifs, and Music by Leela James.
- Heart Attack and Vine by Tom Waits received 22 hits
- With 24 hits were S'Wonderful by Diana Krall, Buona Sera by Louis Prima, Alison Crowe's version of Halleluja, Sunshine on a Rainy Day by Zoe, and God Planned It by Billy Preston.
- Back Home To Me by Sophie Millman got 26 hits this month as did Leonard's own version of Dance Me To the End of Love. Back Home to Me was up here last month as well, with 32 hits.
- Lila Down's, Quisas, Quisas, Quisas is on the list again with 28 plays; down a bit from last month's 30. It is the only song that has been consistantly played more than 20 times per month, every month.
- With 30 hits is the powerful Llorona by the powerful Chevala Vargas.
- Sonny's Dream by the Wonderful Grand Band received 34 plays. I can contribute those to my two sons, according to their comments about the song but now that they can be downloaded and one of the son's did download it, it will most likely be down next month.
- The biggies this month were The Pussycat Song by th Asylum Street Spankers which got 60 plays and the long time favorite of someone, Don't Lie by The Black Eyed Peas. It is way down this month though receiving 84 hits after it's record breaking 410 hits last month and over 200 the month before.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
The photo is of a sunset this week. It was really spectacular and a photo does not do it justice.
S and I had fun yesterday with lunch, shopping, trivia, dinner and a short visit with a friend. A great day! We won at trivia so this is three wins in a row for our team. We each had gift certificates for lunch and the trivia win so we could afford to go out for supper.
I'm ready to send all the long distance Christmas gifts off to make the Canada Post deadline. I received some in the mail yesterday from my aunt and uncle. I've finished four cd's for them and want to do one more today to get them in the mail tomorrow. With cleaning and laundry, I'm going to have a busy day. It is such a treat to have a Sunday at home.
Music: Bells Are Ringing by Mary Chapin Carpenter and New Religion by Alice Smith.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
This has been the weirdest week I've ever had. I've had two falls, I hit my head three times yesterday, my keys locked themselves in the car, I had two days of allergy attacks to I don't even know what, my favorite skirt got burned from embers jumping from the fireplace, and even the fact that I have two prime days off in the Christmas party season....just overall weird. I find it weird that I've been accident prone. I'm very stable on my feet and don't normally fall down. I'm a Capricorn after all and Cuidado means careful. With that combination and me falling it's just plain weird. Yesterday at the bank about five people in line and a bunch of bank staff came running to help me up. I was so embarassed. They said they would put a mat down.
Luckily, due to my wonderful organizing abilities ha, ha, there hasn't been a hitch at work, other than me walking around with bumps and bruises and red eyes from the allergies. The party- goers called all the staff in last night to give us a standing ovation and booked for next year on the spot. At least something is going well.
I'm going to town today and S. and I are going out to play. We'll do some shopping too. I have gifts to get off in the mail by Monday.
For music some old blues today. Fats Waller doing Your Feets Too Big and Rolled and Tumbled Blues by Rosa Hemphill and Mississippi Fred McDowell.
Hoping I can stay upright this weekend and that I get some much needed rest and recouperation, I'll talk to you tomorrow.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Music? A rocky Ben Harper with Burn to Shine and by the wonderful Nina Simone, Ain't Got No.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
I'm not going to trivia tonight. Being the dedicated, responsible employee that I am, I decided not to leave the veggies and liquor in the car overnight at minus eight degrees. I hauled 50 pound bags of turnips and carrots in and carried numerous cases of beer and bags of groceries in and I'm now too exhausted to go back to town. The trivia master has my contribution of a week's trivia questions for some week I'm not there. Here's her chance to use them.
I'm All Right by Madeleine Peyroux and To Go Home by M. Ward are the musical picks for today. I'm All Right To Go Home but I'd rather be going to trivia.....just too tired.
It's not been a great day. Weird things kept happening. My keys locked themselves in the car. Toyota rescued me and says it happens from time to time. My keys were on the seat and I heard the click, which is not supposed to happen by itself. Weird things like that. I think it's a good thing to stay home when weird things are happening.
Monday, December 04, 2006
We're having our first snow. It started late this afternoon and there have already been fender benders between here an Ch'town. My favorite ex (sister-in-law) was just here and her sister and nephew had a near miss avoiding a big truck that ended up in the ditch. The snow season always starts this way and continues until people slow down, realizing that it's winter. I have an appointment for Friday to have my tires changed over, being like the herd and waiting till the last minute. I have an excuse of course. The only day I go to town is Tuesday and my car is full from work related stuff so I can't fit tires in the car and I don't want to go in any other day so I am .......joining the herd and waiting till the last minute.
I've actually started Christmas things. I am right now working on my fourth cd for my aunt and uncle. They like and appreciate the music I burn for them and I have fun getting songs together just for them. They like jazz and latin and there's a whole lot I have and like that they don't like at all so it's a challenge too. Last year they said, "No more Ray Charles." OK!
Music: Something from CD1 and 3 for my aunt and uncle, jazz then latin. Diana Krall's version of A Case of You is the extra track from the great album, Live in Paris, that they gave me for Christmas a few years ago. They will love Chevala Vargas. I've sent them some over the years and more now....Piensa En Mi. I love the beginning of this song as I always think it's Besame Mucho. It sounds so much like it at the start.....then there's her laugh.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Our weather has changed dramatically, as we all knew it would. We didn't get the snow that was predicted but we got very cold and windy weather and now they say tomorrow it will snow. There's no use complaining about it so I won't but I feel like it a lot because I really don't like winter.
Work is going very well with everyone happy about their parties and staff happy making some money. Good combination.
My two youngest are having their birthdays today. My son is having a milestone birthday at twenty-one and my daughter is twenty-three. This is the first year they haven't been together for their birthday and will be feeling that sadness. I miss them both and am sending out a big Happy Birthday.
Music: For the weather and for missing my kids, Al Jarreau and Mark Knoffler's version of Ain't No Sunshine. My kids have grown up hearing the many versions of this song that I collect, so here's a version of Baby It's Cold Outside. This one is very interesting - Leon Redbone and Zooey Deschanel. I love Leon's voice.
Friday, December 01, 2006
We are expecting our first snow tonight. I don't have snowtires on yet and a steep driveway so I may be in trouble. Perhaps I'll get a ride with the cook. Or call my tire place at 8 to see if I could possibly get an appointment. They will probably just laugh.
Music: I've waited a long time to put this up. Get Me Through December by Alison Krauss with Natalie MacMaster is one of the nicest songs ever. I was born without Christmas spirit and that's what I ask for year after year. Just get me through December. In honour of the Christmas perty season, here's One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer, this version by Snooks Eaglin.
No links anymore due to lack of interest.