Ta2ati2d's Weblog

Today’s Soundtrack

April 4, 2008
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I’m going to broach the subject of original version of a song versus the cover.

First case is the song “Romeo and Juliet”, a truly great, feel good song.

Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits fame and the fact that the video was about as low production as you can get.  Quirky video, excellent, Fantastic, BRILLIANT song! (Yes, I feel a little strong about the piece.

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And then there’s The Killers version, which was just as subtle and low-key, but no doubt they brought their own style to it.  Brandon Flowers seems to have this underlying, deep-seated intensity to his persona and voice that I caught onto in the video “Read My Mind”.

 <object width=”425″ height=”355″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/87cLyBR1JTo&hl=en”></param><param name=”wmode” value=”transparent”></param><embed src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/87cLyBR1JTo&hl=en” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” wmode=”transparent” width=”425″ height=”355″></embed></object>

Apparently, from what I’ve been told by a co-worker, the Indigo Girls did a cover of the song as well.  I got to see them perform live about a year ago, and I don’t remember hearing them perform that piece.  But hey, I use Teflon pans, so my memory is faulty.

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Not so wild about her version.  Still a great song though!

Next case is “Across The Universe”  Okay, so this song has been touched more times than Jenna Jameson in a porno, so I’m going to bring up The Beatles version (of course)

<object width=”425″ height=”355″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/bbirjVeI_Pk&hl=en”></param><param name=”wmode” value=”transparent”></param><embed src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/bbirjVeI_Pk&hl=en” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” wmode=”transparent” width=”425″ height=”355″></embed></object>

I will just put two notes in the middle here…first, nobody can beat The Beatles!  Second, thanks to anourag for putting this on YouTube.

Then there’s Rufus Wainwright (another brilliant musician) who does a heartbreaking job of this song.  He has a talent of getting you way down deep, and we need more of him in this crazy world of ours.  Yes, that is Dakota Fanning in the video.  The song is on the “I Am Sam” soundtrack, and they complement each other perfectly.  If you’re in a particularly fragile state when watching the film, mark my words, you will cry like a bitch.

I was about to put the video up, but universalmusicgroup has blocked the embedding code, so no go.  But you can check it out on YouTube.

Then there’s the  movie “Across The Universe” which I thought was very good, both the movie and the songs.

In a completely different avenue of thought, here is a song that is originally done by Groove Armada that I don’t think has been done by anyone else yet.  It’s called “Hands of Time” and it’s a perfect piece to listen to when watching the rain come down from inside, or if you’re in a particular funk that particular day, or if it’s a wet weekend, or if you’re feeling nostalgic, or if…okay I’ll stop.  You get the picture.

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Many thanks to oddema for posting this visual art on YouTube.

What songs are on your life soundtrack?  Why?  What message do they convey?


The Book List

April 1, 2008
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There’s a benefit to living close to a library; saves money from having to buy the books at any myriad of stores with membership cards.  Get a library card and you can get the books for free…what a wonderful world full of self-sabotage!

I’ve just finished Joe Hill’s “20th Century Ghosts”, a compilation of short stories.  It really only had the one ghost story, which had me a little disappointed.  I managed to get over it, though (I’m tough like that) and enjoyed all the stories in this hidden gem of a book.  You may recognize the name Joe Hill by his hit novel “Heart Shaped Box”.  If you don’t know of it, but enjoy horror/ghost stories, this is definitely a must-have!20th Century Ghosts

I’ve now started on Dean Koontz’s “The Darkest Evening of the Year” which has a funny (ha ha) start to it.  But knowing the avenues Mr. Koontz likes to ride, I’m bracing myself for the creepy.  My tastes seem to be going for the scary and supernatural for the past year at least now.  Usually one will spot me on the subway or train with either a John Connolly or a Neil Gaiman book, biding my time until the next Christopher Moore novel comes out (I have it on authority it’s due out later this year, but I will not reveal my source) and then I’ll be flush in another few hundred pages.

There’s something wonderful about these books…rather, there are a lot of things wonderful about these books.  Not just an escape from the cold cruelty of the real world by envisioning their well-written cruel worlds, but also because they let you believe that the absurd is possible, that other worlds can intertwine with ours without doubt or question, and that the underdog could very well be the bad guy you were rooting for through most of the story.

These guys are a perfect example of what it is to create a whole new world where the rules are yours to make up as you go along.  It’s heartening for me as a writer to be able to read these books.  For so long, I was holding myself back from writing what I wanted to because I had put these inane, insane rules on myself of the characters I could write, trying my hardest to make sure they were all likable, unflawed characters (highly unrealistic) for fear if I created a really heartless bastard, I’d get in trouble with someone and my work would never get published.  So many times as a kid, I would hear people on the news talking about burning books (a crime) because of the content.  People burned Harry Potter books because it talked about witchcraft (and the most recent discovery that Albus Dumbledore was gay – I knew it! – had more in an uproar), others wanted to burn classics such as E. B. White’s “Charlotte’s Web” and George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” because the animals talked.  

These books were classics…CLASSICS!!!!  And the reason they were classics was because their lessons stood the test of time.  A child’s love for her pig, how animals interact with each other and the telepathy or language of some sort they use to communicate.  This was communication from the writers to us, this was them telling us what was on their mind without actually talking to us face to face.  This was education; books teachers were using to utilize better comprehension skills in their charges.  Children got to use their biggest talents, their imaginations, to play with these stories and learn the morals ingrained in the pages.  And people wanted to burn that!

Sorry for the tangent there…went off course a little bit towards the end.  Okay, where was I before the soapbox creeped under me?  Yes, the guys I listed at the top give me hope and a path to follow while laying down a few of my own bricks while going about my way.  if I’m lucky enough to get published this year, I hope I’ll have come up with something you’ll like.

What are you reading these days?  How do you like it so far?  Who’s next after that?

Ebay…a Necessary Evil aka Satan’s way of taking our funds?

March 27, 2008
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Manhattan is not a good city for a shopaholic to work in.  Going further with that line of thought, said shopaholic should not be allowed access to eBay while inside a Manhattan office.  It’s considered burning your “funds” wick at both ends.

I say this because Paypal has made me their bitch.  No, seriously.  Take that smirk off your face.  I gotta make this stop somehow.  I don’t know, go to an eBayer’s Anonymous meeting (do they exist yet?), make a confession in front of a group of strangers, eat some old cookies and drink iced tea out of a Dixie cup.  Wait, no!  I’ll protect the environment and bring my own glass!  I got this cute set of Ed Hardy drinking glasses of off eBay and…dammit!  Everything I have these days is from eBay!

What would be considered eBay rehab?  A hut in the middle of the woods in an area where there’s no WiFi?  I can have my laptop with me, but the letters e, b, a, and y will be ripped off the keyboard?  If I go crazy and write a suicide note, nobody will know that’s what it is!  I would try to write something along the lines of:

Dear Reader, By the time you read this, I should be out of my city slicker misery.  I cannot seem to function as a normal adult unless I can bid on the porcelain pig that snorts when you put coins in it’s back, for up to $15 ( I refuse to pay retail).  Alas, I believe every life is worth living long, but rent is due, I’m in the red on my checking account, and have no spending cash for food.  Good-bye salads, hello Ramen Noodles!  I leave my inflatable bed, laptop and MP3 player to my best friend, Darryl.  I leave all my bills to my absentee father (about time he paid for something).  Please spread my ashes around Anchorage, Alaska (from whence it came).  See you in the next life!

…and it would only show this:

Dr Rdr,     th tim ou rd this…

You get the picture!


Roommates!!! Gar!!!

March 26, 2008
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I hate having roommates.  Simple as that.

I really do!  It’s not so much the seeing other people around me, because that’s just everywhere.  You go to work, boom!  People!  Need to get food at the supermarket, have to get laundry done?  Hellooo, more people!  No, the problem is waking up in the morning, wanting to crank up the Aerosmith to ensure it’s a good day (nothing ensures smiles all day like Steve Tyler belting out “Sweet Emotion” and “Crazy” back to back…I defy you to not crack at least a this-is-sublime grin!), and not being able to because – waaaahhhh – roomies are sleeping!

The biggest thing – and it happened this morning which is what’s setting this blog off – is when they start eating my food.  Not midday snack foods, no, but my lunch!  I had plans for that blueberry yogurt!  The financial part of it doesn’t really bother me, because if 70 cents is really going to break me, sweetheart, I have bigger problems than the yogurt!  I have two roommates, so I don’t know which one ate it.

Before you ask, yes, I’m sure I didn’t eat it myself.  I have my foods for the week planned out and foods for the weekends planned out.  I buy the food and drinks that I buy because I like them.  I bought them for me.  This is a real bone of contention for me, because I’ve had roommates before and this has happened before, so I know the routine of labelling my food.  I just was hoping it wouldn’t come to it in this house.  For about a month it was just me and one other roommate, and we were pretty good about just eating our own foods and leaving the other’s alone.  But now with a third woman (too much estrogen, I really wanted a guy), it seems like all the rules have been pushed to the side.

So, moving along, I get ready for work this morning only to discover two of my yogurts and at least one of my apples gone, and not by my own hand.

I’m debating whether to bring it up or not.  I may just have to keep everything in bags with my name marked on top and a slightly veiled threat of torn limbs below my name.

Am I being unreasonable?

Hello world!

March 25, 2008
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