Tuesday, October 23, 2007

New Fiction

One of the theme's for the new issue of TopBlogMag is regret this week. The following is my piece written on the subject.


Kids used to want to grow up to be firemen, astronauts, even cowboys. When I was young I just wanted to grow up to be famous. To save everyone the suspense now I didn’t grow up to anyone that you would recognize. I did have my fifteen minutes of fame in high school when I was known as the girl who put out. Which was untrue except for a brief seven minutes of fumbling and sudden burst of too much excitement on his part that ended things before they had begun.

Next came college and my ambition to be a writer. I knew I couldn’t act or sing so I figured how hard could it be to write? Actually I knew better than that. I just have a flippant side to my attitude that comes out at the most awkward times. The truth is that I loved the written word and had hopes to be the next Joyce Carol Oates.

Until I met Matt and as they’ve said before about the best laid plans of mice and men, not to mention young women who think they’re in love. He was a senior when I enrolled and it didn’t take long before I couldn’t live without him. When he graduated he was offered a great job, but it came with a catch. It was in another city and would mean no more waking up snuggled against him. He made a half hearted speech about staying while I graduated, but we both knew it wouldn’t last. So I did what any hearts in her eyes fawning girl would do. I quite school and followed him to his new city and his new job.

We weren’t married yet. He promised once he got settled in his new corner office that would come. Right now there wasn’t time, the job was better on paper and in the future, now it meant long hours and small paychecks. I got a job at a small diner to help pay for the standard of living he thought we should maintain for appearances.

Of course anyone that’s ever seen a Lifetime Movie of the Week will know what happens next. As he moved up he met someone else. But the time he was making enough money that I could quit my job I discovered I couldn’t because I needed it to pay the rent on my apartment. The one that I lived in without him now, as he moved into a new townhouse with a woman he decided he had time to marry now.

The next few years were not me at my best. I had trust issues and found the best way to overcome them was through a bottle. I was never a big drinker before, but I decided to make up for that now. There were more than a few mornings waking up in a strange bed with an even stranger man.

Eventually I realized that the path I was on was headed right off a cliff and with me without a parachute. Getting sober is not quite as easy as it’s portrayed in the movies, but it is attainable. It took me over a year and there were a few stumbles along the way, but before my thirtieth birthday I was able to declare myself sober. One day at a time.

I decided that if I couldn’t write the words the least I could do was sell them. I got a job at a bookstore and while it doesn’t pay much it manages to keep a roof over my head and food on my table.

Which all leads to my lying in this hospital bed and the trip down memory lane. I could view my life with a lot of regret if I wanted and I don’t think many people would begrudge me that. But when they put my newborn baby girl in my arms I realized that everything that had happened, the bad as well as the good, all that I could regret, had all lead me to this point, the birth of my daughter. I knew I had no regrets.

Out Today

The third and unfortunately final season of Veronica Mars came out today. This was the new Buffy for me. I thought it one of the best things on television and it's a shame that it ended. But with the advent of tv on dvd at least I'll have the three seasons to go back and watch whenever I want to. And Kristen Bell, Ms. Mars, just started her run on Heroes this last Monday.

Theresa Andersson with John Boutte

Bushisms of the Day

"The only way we can win is to leave before the job is done." --George W. Bush, Greeley, Colo., Nov. 4, 2006


Who's written 55 books under her own name, and 77 as Stephanie James, Amanda Glass, Amanda Quick, Jayne Taylor, Jayne Bentley or Jayne Castle?

Yesterday's answer: Italy


Norah Jones' 2004 Feels Like Home is the follow-up to what multiple GRAMMY winning album?

Yesterday's answer: Melissa


SIMULACRUM: 1: image, representation 2: an insubstantial form or semblance or something: trace

It's not a figment of your imagination; there is a similarity between "simulacrum" and "simulate." Both words derive from simulare, a Latin verb meaning "to imitate." In its earliest English uses, "simulacrum" named something that provided an image or representation (as, for instance, a portrait, marble statue, or wax figure representing a person). Perhaps because a simulacrum, no matter how skillfully done, is not the real thing, the word gained an extended sense emphasizing the superficiality or insubstantiality of a thing. Today, it's used as a synonym of "counterfeit" or "fake," but in general it doesn't carry the sense of deceit.

Wu Tang Clan: The Heart Gently Weeps

I thought this was pretty interesting, the hip hop group Wu Tang Clan take the Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and creates a new rap song "The Heart Gently Weeps." With Erykah Badu, John Frusciante and Dhani Harrison (that's George's son).

The next part is about the creation of the song.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Writer's Strike Looming

On October 31 the contract expires and there is a very real threat of a strike from the writers of television and movies. The Writer's Guild of Ameria voted overwhelming in favor of authorizing a strike if they fail to sign a new contract when their contract runs out at the end of the month. At the top of the list of the writers demands are issues regarding payment of their work over the internet and other digital media. As new ways to spread tv shows and movies are invented new issues of payment are raised. A strike could occur as early as the first of November, which would shut down a lot of tv shows and stop the production of movies.

Bill Cosby - Noah

I remember listening to this from my Dad's album of Bill Cosby when I was a kid. A lot of people only know Cosby from his show, but he was a great stand up in his younger day.

Theresa Andesson at Tower Records

Bushisms of the Day

"And truth of the matter is, a lot of reports in Washington are never read by anybody. To show you how important this one is, I read it, and our guest read it." --George W. Bush, on the Baker-Hamilton Report, appearing with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Washington, D.C., Dec. 7, 2006


What European nation is the setting for the final days of The English Patient's title character?

Yesterday's answer: P.D. James


From the Allman Brothers' 1972 Eat A Peach, Gregg Allman sings a song about a sweet lady named?

Yesteday's answer: The Supremes


METIER: 1: vocation, trade 2: an area of activity in which one excels: forte

The words "metier," "employment," "occupation," and "calling" all perform similar functions in English, though each word get the job done in its own way. These hardworking synonyms can all refer to a specific sustained activity, especially an activity engaged in to earn a living, but they also have slightly different shades of meaning. "Employment" implies simply that one was hired and is being paid by an employer, whereas "occupation" usually suggests special training and "calling" generally applies to an occupation viewed as a vocation or profession. "Metier," an 18th-century French borrowing, typically implies a calling for which one feels especially fitted.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

New Governor

Louisiana has a new Governor...Bobby Jindal.

Country Girl: Rissi Palmer

The Hammer Lady

This is wrong of course, but I sure can sympathize. Everytime I've had to deal with my local cable company, Charter, it's the same thing. They tell you they're going to be there on a certain day and it's a week later before they show up. They treat their customers like crap and I think it's mainly cause cable companies are set up as a monopoly in their cities. They have no other competition for other companies except for Direct TV or Dish, but no other cable outfits. It stinks. So go check what this lady did.

It's The Economy, Stupid!

The dollar hit an all time low on Monday. Stocks took a serious stumble on Friday, the twentieth anniversary of the 1987 Stock Market crash. Oil is climbing and climbing, the price of gold took a fall.

But all is well if you listen to our leaders in Washington.

Ok, I'm Scared

From Reuters:

Vice President Dick Cheney on Sunday described Iran as an obstacle to peace in the Middle East and said the world could not stand by and allow it to develop a nuclear weapon.

Remember all the rheotic before Bush and Cheney invaded Iraq? It's beginning to sound a lot similar to that. I want to think that even these two could not be dumb enough to put us into a third war in the Middle East, but I can't. Unfortunately I do think they could do something like this. For as much as we say the "other" side is fighting a holy war, as far as Bush is concerned so is he. He may think it's his "holy" duty to do as much damage over there as possible before he leaves office.

It's enough to keep me up at night.

Matthew Good

This is for a friend that I've made through blogging and haven't been as good a friend as I should have been lately. I've been too busy with my own stuff and haven't talked to this friend in awhile.

Runnin' Down A Dream

Tom Petty is one of those performers that it seems to me at least that sometimes gets forgotten in the list of great Rock and Roll singers. I think outside of Bruce Springsteen I would have to put him up there as one of the greatest for the last thirty years. That's how long he's been around thirty years. I just spent the better part of my last day off watching a new dvd documentary called Runnin' Down A Dream, directed by Peter Bogdanvich, about Tom Petty's career. It's a four disc set, the first two discs are the doc, while the third is a homecoming concert Petty did at Gainsville Florida and the fourth disc is a cd of some of the songs from the doc. The two disc documentary is over five hours and while it would seem that would be a long time, watching it the time flew by. I didn't realize how much time it was until it was over, this documentary is that good.

Tom Petty was born in Gainsville Florida in 1950. His addiction to Rock and Roll became serious when his Aunt took him to a filming of the Elvis Presely movie Follow That Dream that was being shot there. Petty was introduced to Elvis and after that he knew what he wanted to be. As a youngster he went through a few different groups until he finally settled on a group called Mudcrutch. In this early group were two members that would become part of the Heartbreakers, Mike Campbell and Benmont Trench.

The group moved to Hollywood and eventually landed a recording contract with a small label called Shelter Records. By this point they had changed their name and the focus of the group became Petty. They released their first album but it didn't create any big hits. At least not in the States. Over in England they were huge. The English couldn't get enough of the group.

After their second album was released and went gold they started work on their third album which would become Damn the Torpedos. It was during this time that Shelter Records was bought by the larger company MCA and with it Tom Petty's contract. Petty refused to be bought by another record company without his consent. For nine months he fought the larger company. Eventually MCA agreed to create a label just for Petty and gave him control over his music.

On the release of their third album Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers became stars. This was the album that put them on the map. Their next album Hard Promises was scheduled by their record company to be one of the albums that would feature a dollar more for the price. Petty did not like the fact that they were going to charge more money for his release and voiced his objections. Of course another fight ensured, but eventually the album came out with the regular price and did not cost his fans an additional dollar.

Tom Petty and the Heatbreakers have acted as the backing band for two years for Bob Dylan and also backed Johnny Cash on his first cd produced by Rick Rubin, Unchained. The band has had a few changes over the years, but still maintains the core group that came from Gainsville Florida all those years ago. One member Ron Blair quit the group after a few years and retired from the music business, but after Howie Epstien, the member that replaced him, died from a drug overdose he came back with the group.

Last year Petty released Highway Companion as a solo album, though most of the group appears in different parts of the music. This was one of the best albums of the year and had a great single "Saving Grace" from the album.

Theresa Andersson: C'mon Baby Let's Go Downtown

Bushisms of the Day

"It's bad in Iraq. Does that help?" --George W. Bush, after being asked by a reporter whether he's in denial about Iraq, Washington, D.C., Dec. 7, 2006


What mystery writer set out to chronicle the year following her 77th birthday in Time to Be in Earnest, but ended up with a full autobiography?

Yesterday's answer: Atticus


What trio of Motown singers achieved five consecutive #1 singles starting with "Baby Love" in 1964?

Yesterday's answer: Twisted Sister


DUNNAGE: 1: loose materials used to support and protect cargo in a ship's hold; also: padding in a shipping containter 2: baggage

Etymologists don't know the exact origin of the word "dunnage." They have pointed out the similarity of "dunnage" and dunne twige, but no one has ever proven that the two are related.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Theresa Andersson with Alexandria Symphony

Bushisms of the Day

"Make no mistake about it, I understand how tough it is, sir. I talk to families who die." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Dec. 7, 2006


What name did Jem and Scout use to address their father, in To Kill A Mockingbird?

Yesterday's answer: Gone-Away Lake


This 1980's glam metal band and Rock 'n Roll bad boys were ushered to success by front man and chief songwriter Dee Snider. Who are they?

Yesterday's answer: The Boss


ADVOCATE: to plead in favor of

Benjamin Franklin may have been a great innovator in science and politics, but on the subject of "advocate" he was against change. In 1789, he wrote a letter to his compatriot Noah Webster complaining about a "new word": the verb "advocate." Like others of his day, Franklin knew "advocate" primarily as a noun meaning "one who pleads the cause of another," and he urged Webster to condemn the verb's use. Actually, the verb wasn't as new as Franklin assumed (etymologists have traced it back to 1599), through it was apparently surging in popularity in his day. Webster evidently did not heed Franklin's plea. His famous 1828 dictionary, An American Dictionary of the English Language, entered both the noun and the verb senses of "advocate."

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Rough Week

I didn't realize how rough this last week was going to be. Last Friday was my Dad's birthday. He would have been 72 years old. This Thursday is my parent's anniversary. They would have been married 49 years. It's just kind of a one-two punch. But on the plus side, my Mom was doing pretty good when I talked to her on his birthday. She's having some work done on her feet, that's another post believe me, this week so her mind will probably not be on too much else.


NolaDawn has awarded me the Community Blogger Award. This award celebrates those who reach out and make the blogging world a better place. I want to thank her for this award and hand it to a few fellow bloggers out there that make my world a little better for my visits....Trav's Thoughts, Here Comes A Storm, and Further On Up... I could have picked a bunch more but I find myself visiting these three on an almost daily basis and enjoying what they have to say.

Bushisms of the Day

"And there is distrust in Washington. I am surprised, frankly, at the amount of distrust that exists in this town. And I'm sorry it's the case, and I'll work hard to try to elevate it." --George W. Bush, interview on National Public Radio, Jan. 29, 2007


What Elizabeth Enright classic sends Portia and Julian to a deserted resort community on the shores of a forgotten body of water?

Yesterday's answer: The Princess Bride


Singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen is known by many of his fans as who?

Yesterday's answer: Madison Square Garden


RESTIVE: 1: stubbornly resisting control 2: marked by impatience or uneasiness: fidgety

"Restive" ultimately comes from the Anglo-French word rester, meaning "to stop, resist, or remain." In its earliest use, it meant "sluggish" or "inactive," though this sense is no longer in use. Another early sense was "stubborn, obstinate." Specifically, "restive" often referred to horses that refused to do as commanded. It was perhaps from this general application to unruly horses that "restive" eventually" acquired the meaning "fidgety, impatient." Some usage commentators have objected to this newer definition, but it has been in use for well over a century and is now the more common of the word's senses.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Bushisms of the Day

"I think that the vice president is a person reflecting a half-glass-full mentality." --George W. Bush, interview on National Public Radio, Jan. 29, 2007


What William Goldman book included the first chapter of its unpublished sequel, Buttercup's Baby, in its 25th anniversary edition?


In October of 1971, Rick Nelson wrote "Garden Party" after his rejection at a Rock and Roll revival concert held in what "garden"?

Yesterday's answer: The Sex Pistols


KAFKAESQUE: of, relating to, or suggestive of Franz Kafka or his writings; expecially: having a nightmarishly complex, bizarre, or illogical quality

Franz Kafka (1883-1924) was a Czech-born, German-language writer whose surreal fiction vividly expressed the anxiety, alienation, and powerlessness of the individual in modern society. Since much of his work is distinguished by nightmarish settings in which characters are crushed by nonsensical, blind authority, the word "Kafkaesque" is often applied to bizarre and impersonal administrative situations where the individual feels powerless to understand or control what is happening. The first recorded appearance of "Kafkaesque" in English was in 1946.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Al Gore Wins!

I'd like to use that headline in another context, but for now it will have to do for this one. Al Gore and the UN Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change shared the prize for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Will this help make him decide to run for President? According to the Associated Press:

One of the advisers said that while Gore is unlikely to rule out a bid in the coming days, the prospects of the former vice president entering the fray in 2008 are "extremely remote."

Bushisms of the Day

"Iraq is a very important part of securing the homeland, and it's a very important part of helping change the Middle East into a part of the world that will not serve as a threat to the civilized world, to people like -- or to the developed world, to people like -- in the United States." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., April 3, 2007


Who helped Zora Neale Hurston turn her short story Mule Bone into a play, before a rift caused it to go unpublished for 60 years?

Yesterday's answer: Michael Crichton


Today's "Brain-Rocker" clues are:

A. Punk Rock
B. Johnny Rotten
C. Sid Vicious
D. London Band

Yesterday's answer: Joni Mitchell


THWART: 1a: to run counter to so as to effectively oppose or baffle: contravene b: to oppose successfully: defeat the hopes of 2: to pass through or across

"Thwart" and it synonyms "foil" and "frustrate" all suggest checking or defeating another's plan or preventing the achievement of another's plan or preventing the achievement of a goal. "Foil" implies checking or defeating so as to discourage future efforts ("foiled by her parents, he stopped trying to see her"), while "frustrate" suggests making vain or ineffectual efforts, however vigorous or persistent ("frustrated attempts at government reform"). "Thwart" usually indicates frustration caused by opposition ("the army thwarted an attempted coup").

Friday, October 12, 2007

My Dad's Birthday

Today my Dad would have been 72 years old. It seems like a lifetime already since he died this summer and than again it seems like it was only yesterday that we were all sitting in his hospital room with him. His last week he never gained consciousness but he was never left alone. He would have been surprised by all the people that spent time in that room visiting him. He was always the type of man that thought he didn't make much of an impression on others. His hospital room was literally packed with people, at one point I counted almost two dozen people in the room, wanting to say their goodbyes and offer any comfort they could. Aunts and cousins were spending the night, not wanting to go home. Friends drove up from Mississippi and New Orleans to see him. Nurses from the other part of the wing where had been transferred out of once it was evident he wasn't going to recover came by to visit with him. One nurse broke down in tears after seeing him and talking to him. He might have been surprised by all the people he touched, but I wasn't.

This month, next week actually, also marks the wedding anniversary of my parents. This would have been their 49th year together. In those 49 years I don't think they hardly ever spent any time apart, except for when my Dad was in the Navy and had to go out on his two weeks on a ship. But otherwise they were always together. No matter what they were always there for each other, even if it was just running down to the store and my Dad would sit in the car while my Mom went in to shop. Or when my Mom went to the Mall to do some shopping my Dad would take a book with him and sit on one of the benches while my Mom hit store after store. Don't get me wrong, they weren't all lightness and happiness, they could fight. Boy, do I remember the fights they had when I was growing up. Sometimes the simplest thing could set one of them off. I remember being at Six Flags on vacation and they got in a big fight in the middle of the park. But they always made up. I remember walking in on them kissing and hugging so many times when I was a kid.

My Dad never graduated high school. It was something he was always ashamed of, but at the times circumstances stood in his way. His Dad abused him, and it was after one of these beatings that my Dad left home to join the Navy. My Dad rarely talked about his problems he had at home and never when my brother and I were smaller. His parents lived in New Jersey and except for a little time when my brother was born up there we never lived up North, but he would bring us up there to visit our grandparents as often as possible. He let us know his Father as a nice old man who was our Grandfather and not as the person that drove him out of his own house with beatings. In later years I think my Dad forgave my Grandfather as much as you can for something like that.

My Dad accomplished what many in his situation cannot. Children that are abused have a strong tendency to grow up as abusers. It's all they know of love so for them it doesn't seem strange that they abuse their own kids. My Dad had a temper and my brother and I got our share of whippings, my parents were never the type to spare the rod, but we were never abused. We were never beat, a whipping on the butt is not abuse. I remember once my Dad went to smack me on the butt and somehow with me trying to move out of the way he accidentally hit me on the side of the face. His face turned white and he was immediately sorry, he would never have struck one of us on the face. He couldn't believe he had done it, even though it wasn't his fault, it was mine for trying to move out of his reach. My Dad broke the cycle of abuse. This was something we never realized as children but as adults when we knew the story we realized how important and hard this was.

As I said before my Dad never graduated high school and always thought he wasn't as smart as other people. My Dad was a self taught man. He loved to read. He was always reading a book. He was always trying to learn things. He made sure my brother and I knew how important it was to have an education. When I was a kid he enrolled me in a book club for kids, I don't think I was more than five or six at the time. Reading was always one of my greatest strengths. I remember being tested when I was in sixth grade for reading skills and I was already reading at college level. My Dad never tried to censor what we read. I never had to ask if I could check a certain book out of the library, it I could it read I was allowed to. I remember once when a babysitter, I was probably around 8 or 9 - my parents would get someone to watch us when they went out at night - and the babysitter, probably a high school girl saw a book I was reading and was surprised that my parents allowed me to read it. I don't remember the book, but I just remember her commenting that she wouldn't be allowed to read that book and she was a lot older than we were.

I learned tolerance from my Dad. I grew up in the sixties and seventies. When Martin Luther King was murdered in Memphis we were stationed at the Naval Air Base in Memphis. My Dad had shore patrol the night of the murder. He spent that week in downtown Memphis patrolling the city. There were lots of changes going on during this time and a lot of white people were not happy with these changes. My Dad never used foul language or the N-word to describe black people. They were just people as far as he was concerned. You don't think about things like that, but years later you realize how much of an impression they make on a young mind and how they affect how you think about other people.

My parents shared the work load at home equally. I guess that's how I've come to my acceptation of an equality of the sexes. The last ten years or so while my Dad was in the Navy he would get home around three or four in the afternoon. My Mom normally didn't get off work till five or six. So by the time she got home dinner would be cooked and waiting for her arrival. My Dad found he loved to cook, so much so that my Mom ended up rarely cooking. My Mom recently made a comment when I was up there visiting that she had to learn to cook again, she hadn't needed to while my Dad was alive. But it went beyond cooking, my Dad would clean and vacuum, but that was always an iffy proposition with my Mom who's a neat freak cause no one cleaned like she expected. My Mom learned how to build things because that was what my Dad liked to do, so it wasn't unusual to see them both out putting up a fence or building a porch. They build the porch for my home and after it was completed someone offered them a job building porches for their company.

My Dad loved to build. He loved wood. As a child he build bunk beds for my brother and me. There wasn't much he wouldn't try his hand at building. He could spend hours in his shop building things. I don't think he was ever happier than he was when he had built something.

My Dad was a short man. It was always a joke with us. He would always say that dynamite came in small packages and I would respond with so did silly putty. Even though I always knew my Dad wasn't taller than 5'4" when I think of him I still imagine him towering over me, who's 6', and me looking up at him. For me my Dad will always be a giant among men.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Update on Clapton

In a previous post I said I thought the autobiography by Eric Clapton came out next week. It is actually already out. I found this out when I went to the bookstore and saw it. I ended up buying it. This is a great book. I was so into it that I ended up reading it in two days. Clapton doesn't sugar coat anything, he is very hard and honest with is many problems. It's a fascinating look into a musical icon.

Guess Who Her Dad Is?

A new character has been added to the tv show Supernatural. She's a female demon hunter played by the actress Katie Cassidy. Guess who her Dad is?

Pay What You Want

That's what Radiohead is asking its fans when it comes to their new album In Rainbows. Free of a label the band has put their new album on their website and for whatever price a person wants to pay they can download the album. The group does plan on releasing the album in a regular format come the first of the year, but with what label and exactly how hasn't been determined yet.

In a situation similar but different Wilco had put their album, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot on their website for downloading after their label dropped them because they didn't think the album was commercial enough. After signing with a new label and releasing the album, even after all the free downloads, the album was Wilco's best selling album up to that time.

So it will be interesting to see what effect the downloading of their new album has on the sales of Radiohead's album when it finally becomes available in a regular cd format. And how will they track sales of the album? Will they count every download as a sale? Things are getting interesting for the music business.

Doris Lessing Wins Nobel for Literature

Best known for her novel The Golden Notebook Doris Lessing, 87 years old, won the Nobel Prize for Literature. She is the 11th women to win the prize and the oldest person to win. She is also the writer of a graphic novel, Playing the Game that was published in 1995.

Al Gore - Nobel Peace Prize

Tomorrow the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize will be announced. It seems a heavy favorite is Al Gore. At least in the press, there really is no way to know how the voters for prize are leaning.

And of course all this talk of Mr. Gore has brought up the speculation that he will finally announce his run for the Presidency. I guess we'll just have to see.

Theresa Andersson with Davell Crawford

Woody Allen and Billy Graham

I never would have thought these two would have a conversation. Fascinating. And funny.

Bushisms of the Day

"There are jobs Americans aren't doing. ... If you've got a chicken factory, a chicken-plucking factory, or whatever you call them, you know what I'm talking about." --George W. Bush. Tipp City, Ohio, April 19, 2007


What best-selling high-tech author described his fascination with spoon-bending and other psychic phenomena, In Travels?

Yesterday's answer: Island


This hugely influential Canadian is known for exploring many styles of music - her repertoire of songs include "A Case of You," "Coyote," and the historical "Woodstock."

Yesterday's answer: Little Feat


BOSKY: 1: having abundant trees or shrubs 2: of or relating to a woods

Bosk, busk, bush - in Middle English these were all variant spellings of a word meaning "shrub." "Bush" is still familiar to the modern ear, and "busk" can still be heard in a few places in the dialects of northern Britain. "Bosk," too survived in English dialects, although it disappeared from the written language, and in the 16th century it provided the root for the woodsy adjective "bosky." Since its formation, "bosky" has become firmly rooted in our language, and its widespread popularity seems to have resurrected its parental form. By 1814, "bosk" (also spelled "bosque") had reappeared in writing but this time meaning "small wooded area."

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Out Today: Will Hoge

Out today is the new Will Hoge album: Draw the Curtains. It's his first album on a major label since he left Atlantic after Blackbird on a Lonely Wire. His new label is Rykodisc. The track list is:


The Complete Eric Clapton

And speaking of Eric Clapton, today The Complete Clapton came out on cd. It's a two cd set that is incredible. The track list is:

Disc: 1
1. I Feel Free: Cream
2. Sunshine of Your Love: Cream
3. White Room: Cream
4. Crossroads: Cream
5. Badge: Cream
6. Presence of the Lord: Blind Faith
7. After Midnight
8. Let It Rain
9. Bell Bottom Blues
10. Layla
11. Let It Grow
12. I Shot the Sheriff
13. Knockin' on Heaven's Door
14. Hello Old Friend
15. Cocaine
16. Lay Down Sally
17. Wonderful Tonight
18. Promises
19. I Can't Stand It

Disc: 2
1. I've Got a Rock 'n' Roll Heart
2. She's Waiting
3. Forever Man
4. It's in the Way That You Use It
5. Miss You
6. Pretending
7. Bad Love
8. Tears in Heaven
9. Layla Unplugged
10. Running on Faith (Unplugged)
11. Motherless Child
12. Change the World
13. My Father's Eyes
14. Riding With the King
15. Sweet Home Chicago
16. If I Had Possession Over Judgment
17. Ride the River

I shouldn't have to say anything else to convince you to go buy this album.

Some Good Biographies

I enjoy read a good biography of an interesting person. Sometimes it can be someone that I might never had thought I'd want to know anything about, but once reading their life story they become interesting. I enjoy reading about people in all walks of life, from science to music to just about anything if the biography can make the person come to life. There are three new ones that I think I'm going to have to buy.

The first one is Meanwhile...The Life of Milton Caniff. This is probably the least known of the three I'm going to mention today. Sixty years ago the name of Milton Caniff was a lot better known. Mr. Caniff is the creator of the comic strip Terry and the Pirates and later Steve Canyon. The former is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, adventure comic strip ever created. The latter would rank pretty high on the list also. On a personal note: one of the first pieces of writing I ever had published was a review in a comic book related magazine. The review was of a book collecting Steve Canyon comic strips. Of course it was a good review, the strip is too good to be anything less. Imagine my surprise when a few weeks after the magazine and the review came out I received a letter from Mr. Caniff himself, thanking me for the good review. I still have that letter framed and hanging on my wall.

The second biography is also of a comic strip creator, but this one is a little better known. Charles Schulz, the creator of Peanuts. Now this is perhaps the most well known comic strip in the world. Who hasn't heard of Charlie Brown or Snoopy? This book isn't out yet, it ships next Tuesday. I've been reading that the family of Mr. Schulz is a little upset with the writer, the creator doesn't come off in too good a light in some regards in the book. The writer of the biography was given complete access to the family and Mr. Schulz's records for the last seven years to write the book. Who's right in this instance, I don't know. Mr. Schulz may not have been a saint, but that doesn't take anything from his creation.

Also just to note, Mr. Schulz's creation Peanuts is being reprinted in beautiful hardbound editions in order of their publication, starting from the first strip and hopefully continuing till they have them all collected. The series is up to the eighth volume so far. It's very interesting to read the early strips that have not been reprinted in over decades, some never, and see the evolution of the characters.

The final book is an auto-biography. The writer is Eric Clapton. This book also ships next week. From what I've read Mr. Clapton pulls no punches in his life story. He tells of his drug and alcohol problems and the worst and the best in his life.

Three books that tell three different but interesting stories.


One of the all time best cartoons ever.

Theresa Andersson with Johnny Vidacovich

Bushisms of the Day

"Amnesty means that you've got to pay a price for having been here illegally, and this bill does that." --George W. Bush, on the immigration reform bill, Washington, D.C., June 26, 2007


What Harry Potter confection comes with a wizard card in every package?

Yesterday's answer: Travis McGee


This band released the double-album Waiting for Columbus in 1978 which includes the appropriately-titled "Sailin' Shoes."

Yesterday's answer: Alanis Morissette


MOUNTEBANK: 1: a person who sells quack medicines from a platform 2: a boastful unscrupulous pretender: charlatan

Add up the components of the Italian montimbanco, formed by combining the verb montare ("to mount"), the preposition in (converted to im, meaning "on" in this case), and the noun banco ("bench"), and you have the literal definition of "mountebank": someone mounted on a bench. Here, the "bench" is the platform on which 16th- and 17th- century charlatans stood to sell their phony medicines. Mountebanks often included various forms of light entertainment onstage in order to attract customers. Later, extended uses of "mountebank" referred to people who falsely claim to have knowledge about a particular subject or to those who simply pretend to be something they're not in order to gain attention.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Theresa Andersson: It's Gonna Be Okay

Theresa sings over a tv show. I'm not sure what show this is, obviously its a rerun on A&E from NBC. Boomtown maybe? Not sure, but the song is great.


You need to find some information on a company there's a new search engine that can provide you just such information. It's masterseek and it has information on over 45 million companies from over 75 countries. It's fast and free and will give you contact information, profiles on the company and descriptions of their products and services. Looking to expand your business but need a partner, well at Masterseek you can find the right company for you, searching in your country or if you want to go world wide you can search the entire globe.

Bushisms of the Day

"More than two decades later, it is hard to imagine the Revolutionary War coming out any other way." --George W. Bush, Martinsburg, W. Va., July 4, 2007


What detective did creator John D. McDonald describe as a "tattered knight on a spavined steed"?

Yesterday's answer: Donna Leon


In October of 1995, with the album Jagged Little Pill, this artist became the first Canadian female artist to have a #1 album in the U.S.

Yesterday's answer: Bryan Adams


DESICCATE: 1: to dry up or become dried up 2: to preserve (a food) by drying: dehydrate 3: to drain of emotional or intellectual vitality

Raisins are desiccated grapes. They're also dehydrated grapes. And yet a close look at the etymologies of "desiccate" and "dehydrate" raises a tangly question. The Latin siccus means "dry," whereas the Greek stem hydr- means "water." How is it that "desiccate" is "de-" plus "dry" and "dehydrate" is "de-" plus "water," and yet the two are synonyms? The answer lies in the multiple identities of the prefix "de-." The "de-" in "desiccate" means "completely, thoroughly," as in "despoil" (to spoil utterly) or "denude" (to strip completely bare). The "de-" in "dehydrate" means "remove," the same as it does in "defoliate" (to strip of leaves) or in "deice" (to remove ice).

Sunday, October 07, 2007


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Some Words on Springsteen

60 minutes featured Springsteen tonight. He has a new album out and a new tour. It's his first of both with his old group, the E Street Band since The Rising. Most of the reviews I've seen in print and on the net have been more than kind to Bruce's new album Magic. I've read the word masterpiece more than a few times in reference to the album. It is a return to the louder, more anthem sound of his previous records.

When an artist makes it big he usually is associated with a certain sound, a certain style of writing and performing. It's this style that his fans expect him to continue to delve into as he creates more new music. When an artist decides that he wants to branch out and try something new and different he risks losing his core audience. Bruce has been successful with moving onto new ventures in his sound and maintaining his core audience.

I know as a listener I look forward to Bruce's solo albums, when he performs with a minimum of instruments and his mood darker. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed his Seeger Sessions, songs that he had no hand in writing. Now Bruce has returned to his E Street days. But even saying that it's not the same. He's taken what's he learned during the writing of his solo discs and decided to use a more political edge on the new album. Already, and during the 60 Minutes segment, the talking heads are stressing the fact that Bruce is very political on this album and speaks out against the current regime in office. They're all but daring the Conservative Right to go after him.

For me Magic is a great album. I hate to say it's a return to greatness, because I enjoyed his albums without the E Street Band also. But it's nice to hear an album that doesn't sound too far from some of his former E Streeter albums.

Watching the 60 Minute segment I was reminded that there are some artists that mean more than just their current hit song. Some artists can move us, can actually change lives. Bruce is one of those artists. Just listening to him on the television show I could feel a tingle go through me. I've went to a lot of concerts over the years and enjoyed a lot of good music. But there's that rare time when you feel like there's more going on than just a singer singing his songs. You feel a connection to the other people in the audience, you feel a connection to the singer up there on the stage, you feel like the music you're listening to is more than just words and notes, that they can actually change the world, make things better. I've written of it before, and I'm sure I'll write of it again in the future, but I felt this at the last Bruce concert I went to. It was the first Jazz Fest after Katrina. When Bruce sang "My City of Ruins" the entire audience had their hands in the air and tears streaming down their face. Listening to Bruce that day we came together as a city again and realized that New Orleans would come back.

Theresa Andersson: A Man Needs A Maid

I've never heard her do this song, which is of course a Neil Young song. Very good and different.

Bushisms of the Day

"My job is a decision-making job, and as a result, I make a lot of decisions." --George W. Bush, the Decider, Lancaster, Pa., Oct. 3, 2007


Who dreamed up her first crime novel, Death at La Fenice, while backstage at the opera, chatting with a singer about how to murder a difficult director?

Yesterday's answer: Yo!


Today's "Brain-Rocker" clues are:

A. '80s and '90s success story
B. Canadian singer-songwriter
C. "Straight from the Heart"
D. "Cuts Like A Knife"

Yesterday's answer: Wish You Were Here


TONTINE: a joint financial arrangement whereby the participants usually contribute equally to a prize that is awarded entirely to the final survivor

Tontines were named after their creator, Neapolitan banker Lorenzo Tonti. In 1653, Tonti convinced investors to buy shares in a fund he had created. Each year, the investors earned dividends, and when one of them died, his or her share of the profits was redistributed among the survivors. When the last investor died, the capital reverted to the state. Louis XIV of France used tontines to save his ailing treasury and to fun municipal projects, and private tontines (where the last surviving investor and subsequently his or her heirs got the cash instead of the state) became popular throughout Europe and in the United States. Eventually, though, tontines were banned: there was just too much temptation for unscrupulous investors to bump off their fellow subscribers.

Amanda Shaw

This girl is amazing. She's only 16 and is already so talented. One mistake on this video, they say that her new album coming out is her first, well it's actually not. She's released three albums on small independent labels before she signed with Rounder. This is her first really professional done album.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

More Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights

The new season started last night. This could be one of the best shows on tv, it is so much about more than football, but football is in there.

Pushing Daisies

I saw this the other night. It's basically a fairy tale. The first episode was very nice and sweet, which may be the problem. This is a sweet, nice show. Yes, it has a detective in it, it has murder and crimes to be solved, but none of it is like on any other show. That all takes a back seat to the story. The characters are well done and the dialogue is very good. Emerson the detective is great and I love his responses to the other characters. This show was created by one of the people that created Wonderfalls which was one of the best shows on tv for half a season before they canceled it. Let's hope this one has a better chance.

Is this a great show? No, but I'm intrigued enough to want to see more and hope that it continues on the path it's shown so far.


Thursday, October 04, 2007

WOW! Am I Dumb!

I just realized that Theresa Anderson spells her name with two s's. It's Andersson. All this time I've been spelling it as Anderson without even thinking. I guess I should pay a little more attention. I apologize to Ms. Andersson for misspelling her name and will promise to try not to do it in the future.

Theresa Anderson: I'm On My Way

Theresa Anderson: Her Two Latest Albums

This is her self titled ep that was released right after Katrina.
This is Shine, the album she released before the ep.

Bushisms of the Day

"Either we'll succeed, or we won't succeed. And the definition of success as I described is sectarian violence down. Success is not no violence." --George W. Bush, on Iraq, Washington, D.C., May 2, 2007


What did Julia Alvarez title her 1997 novel that gives everyone except Yolanda a chance to talk?

Yesterday's answer: Lance Armstrong


On this date in 1975, what Pink Floyd album topped the charts in both the U.S. and U.K.?

Yesterday's answer: "American Pie"


AMBIDEXTROUS: 1: using both hands with equal ease 2: unusually skillful: versatile

The Latin dexter originally meant "related to or situated on the right side," but since most people do things better with their right hand, dexter developed an additional sense of "skillful." In 1646, English physician and author Sir Thomas Browne used dexter in its "right side" sense whenhe combined it with the Latin prefix ambi- (meaning "both") in the first documented use of "ambidextrous": "Some are....ambidextrous or right handed on both sides."

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Second Episode of Reaper

Just finished watching the second episode of Reaper. The best thing in this show is Ray Wise as the Devil. The rest of the show was ok. It had some amusing moments in it, but I didn't find it all that compelling. I know it's a comedy and a fantasy so it doesn't have to be that in touch with reality, but it really bugs me how they show Sam's job. If people really acted in their job like Sam and his friends, and even his boss, do they all would be out of a job in a heartbeat. Eveytime they show a scene at his work it just turns me off so quickly that I find myself having trouble connecting with the show. I may watch another episode and see how it goes, but Reaper really hasn't grabbed me and made me want to watch it.

Oxford American Southern Music Issue Out Now!

The ninth edition of the souther music edition of the Oxford American is out now. This is one of my favorite issues of any magazine every year. The articles are always informative and well written and I come away with new knowledge about music every year. The magazine also comes with a cd sampler that showcases some great southern music. I always find a new singer from the cd that I had never heard of before. This year's issue already has two articles that hit close to home with me. One was an article about Barry and Susan Cowsill, members of the musical Cowsill Family and both residents of the crescent city. The other article is by Sheryl St. Germain and is entitle "Why She Won't Leave" and explains the hold that the city of New Orleans has on it's people and why we won't live anywhere else. It's a great piece of writing.

This issue is out on the newstands now, so pick it up.

Theresa Anderson: Angel From Montgomery

Bushisms of the Day

"I feel strongly that there ought to be fair justice." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Sept. 20, 2007


What racer notes in his second memoir, Every Second Count: "Generally, one of the hardest things in the world to do is something twice."

Yesterday's answer: The Age of Innocence


Singer-songwriter Don McLean was born on this day in 1945. The song he's most famous for describes the day when three famous Rock and Roll pioneers passed away. What's the song?

Yesterday's answer: Manic ("Manic Monday")


PHILOMATH: a lover of learning: scholar, especially: a student of mathematics

Are you fond of learning? If so, you're a philomatch. This word comes from the Greek word philomathes, which ultimately traces to philos, meaning "dear," and the verb manthanein, meaning "to learn." True philomaths will also be pleased to learn that manthanein is believed to be a relative of the old word mundon, from the language of the Goths (the Germanic people who overran the Roman Empire in the early part of the Christian era.) That Gothic word means "to pay attention."

Monday, October 01, 2007

Theresa Anderson at Tower Records

New Artist of the Month: Theresa Anderson

Bushisms of the Day

"We're kicking ass." --George W. Bush, on the security situation in Iraq, to Australian Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile, Sydney, Australia, Sept. 5, 2007


What novel edged out Sinclair Lewis' Main Street in 1921, to earn Edith Wharton her only Pulitzer?

Yesterday's answer: The Age of Innocence


In 1986, the Bangles had a #2 hit with a song about what type of Monday?

Yesterday's answer: Killer


HERALD: 1: to give public notice of: announce 2a: to greet especially with enthusiasm: hail b: to publicize 3: to signal the approach of

The origin of "herald" is uncertain, but it is thought to derive from Germanic roots. Specifically, etymologists believe that the word developed from an assumed German compound whose first component is akin to the Old High German word heri, meaning "army," and whose second component is akin to the Old High German word waltan, meaning "to rule." When "herald" first appeared on the scene in the 14th century, it referred to an official at a tournament of arms whose duties included the making of announcements. The verb forms, extending the "announcement" idea, quickly followed.

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