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Archive for October, 2007

I have, rather unexpectedly, finally got an evening to myself!  We were on our way to pick up Richard’s brother from the airport, but received a phone call* that turned us right back around, so now I’m back home with a bit of spare time for a change.  Richard’s brother was flying in from Australia (by way of L.A. and then Dallas), but found himself stranded in Dallas overnight due to a late flight from LAX which resulted in his missing the final flight out of Dallas to Houston tonight.  They’ve thankfully put him up in a hotel for the evening and we’ll be back out to Hobby first thing in the morning to pick him up.  Until then, though…

Non-wedding-related stuff!  Thank the heavens!  I’m posting some pictures of our Halloween party at the office last Friday, where our entire department dressed up as circus folks/freaks/carnies.  If you can guess what circus person I am, I’ll…um…oh, hell.  I’ll just give you a thumbs-up in the comments section.  Sorry; I’m brain-dead and completely lame tonight.

*Dan (the brother) totally used his English charm/accent/what-have-you to con some girl at the hotel into using her cell phone to call us, so he wouldn’t have to pay the ridiculous charges to use his hotel room phone.  Classic.

Anyway, onto the photos: (more…)

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I’m having a very Empire Records sort of day, which is probably driving the temp insane.  Good.

Sometimes I get in these moods where all I want to listen to is music from my high school days.  As far as I’m concerned, this short era in music was the critical boundary between the last of commercially-viable yet still good music and where we stand today — Clear Channel and their ilk ruling the airwaves, ramming mass-produced Top 40 crap down our throats.  It all sounds alike.  And it all sucks.  But that’s just my opinion.

Music in the late 90s, like I’ve said, was just barely straddling that fine line.  I mean, groups like the Indigo Girls were still making it onto mainstream radio — so that’s good — but then there was also the advent of Britney Spears and the tribes of heavily-makeupd, over-produced girls that followed her.

Even concert tickets were still affordable back then.  I could easily attend a whole slew of summer concerts (I was a devoted Lilith Fair follower at the time…) on my lifeguarding paycheck and still have plenty of money left over for buying cheap Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill to drink before the concerts and shopping for tacky, midriff-baring clothes at Gadzook’s to wear to the concerts.  Today you have the embarassment of Hannah Montana tickets selling out more quickly than Stones tickets, and for twice as much money.  God, what have we come to…?

So, back to my original subject.  A very abbreviated playlist of today’s tunes, for your auditory pleasure, is below.  Click the links to listen and enjoy your momentary trip back to the 90s, friends.

Have I missed your favorite, out of thousands out there?  Let me know…

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From the brilliant mind of my friend Pancho, this story cracked me up today:

Snubbed

Mazzy is a teenager. Actually, her first birthday was in July so I’m not quite sure where she stands in dog years, but she’s already acting the moody, aloof part of a teenage girl. When it’s just the two of us everything is cool, much like when my sister, clad in braces and over-sized flannel shirts, would, in the walls of our own home, hug my dad and smile rather than rolling her eyes and scowling like she did in public. Lounging on my couch with no one else around, Mazzy curls up by my feet and occasionally glances up from her canine half-sleep to stare at me contentedly before stretching, sighing, and curling back into the lima bean shape that marks her deepest state of relaxation.

The culmination of Mazzy’s descent into pubescence happened this weekend…

There’s more; much more.  Go and read the rest of the hilarious post here.

Well…go, already!

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Wedding Favors

I don’t write much about our wedding planning here, mostly because this blog is intended as a place where I can indulge my creative and random sides.  Blogging about the wedding planning I’ve been doing for the last year would read more like a To Do list, and I don’t suppose that’s terribly interesting to anyone else except my mother.  However, now that the wedding is a mere eleven days away and I’m pretty much done with all of the planning and projects and errands and erratum (fingers crossed….) I feel the need to discuss wedding favors.  Yes, wedding favors.

Our wedding favors consist of a chocolate brown box with an aqua blue sticker on the front that says, “Thank You! Katharine & Richard.”  Inside the box is a sachet of Twining’s English Breakfast Tea and a packet of Walkers shortbread fingers — together, they are Richard’s absolute favorite thing in the world.  So, it’s a nice nod to his home country as well as a delicious treat for the guests whenever they decide to eat/drink them.

My favorite wedding favors, however, might be my friend Sara’s wedding CDs.  She asked all of her bridesmaids and all of her groomsmen to choose a song for the wedding CD, while she and her fiance and their parents filled out the rest of the twenty tracks.  The wedding CDs were burned and imprinted with a picture of Sara and her husband, and distributed to the wedding guests towards the end of the evening.  They were a big hit.

Some of us went the familiar route, choosing songs like “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton and “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King.  Others went with less traditional options, with “Shelter From The Storm” by Bob Dylan and “Romeo & Juliet” by Dire Straits.  For my part, I chose “For The Widows In Paradise, For The Fatherless In Ypsilanti” by Sufjan Stevens, because I was in my stupid hipster mode at the time.  I still like the song — don’t get me wrong — I’m just not sure how “timeless” it will prove to be 20 years down the line.

What Sara didn’t anticipate, however — aside from my weird taste in wedding music — was that one of the groomsmen was still understandably bitter about the fact that Sara had dated him first but was now marrying his roommate.  Long story short: Sara dated Kyle for a short time, Kyle eventually introduced Sara to his roommates, Sara quickly realized that she liked one of the roommates more than Kyle, and ended up engaged to and marrying that roommate a year later.  Kyle won’t let this go, but was still asked to be a groomsman by the somewhat oblivious groom.

When Kyle submitted his song choice to Sara’s mother — who was in charge of the project — Sara’s mother had never heard of his song before.  Instead of listening to it after she downloaded it off iTunes, she simply threw all the songs together and got to burning the CDs.  This was a big project, after all — not a lot of time for lollygagging around and mooning over the songs.

After the CDs were finally finished and hot to trot, Sara went to pick them up from her mother’s house.  She admired the picture on the front of the CD, the artful placement of the text and the beautiful covers with the song listing on the back.  In a hurry, she didn’t read through all the songs, but simply put them in her car and headed off.  As she was driving, she popped one of the CDs into her stereo and started skipping through the songs.  When she finally got to Kyle’s song choice, she nearly drove off the road.

Kyle had chosen the immortal David Allan Coe song that I think you all know:

Well it was all
That I could do to keep from cryin’
Sometimes it seemed so useless to remain
But you don’t have to call me darlin’, darlin’
You never even call me by my name

You don’t have to call me Waylon Jennings
And you don’t have to call me Charlie Pride
And you don’t have to call me Merle Haggard, anymore
Even though you’re on my fightin’ side

CHORUS:
And I’ll hang around as long as you will let me
And I never minded standin’ in the rain
But you don’t have to call me darlin’, darlin’
You never even call me by my name

Well I’ve heard my name
A few times in your phone book (Hello, Hello)
And I’ve seen it on signs where I’ve played
But the only time I know
I’ll hear David Allan Coe
Is when Jesus has his final Judgment Day

Of course, it was way too late at this juncture to change the songs or the CDs, so they went out to the delighted guests at the wedding a few days later.  My mother later asked me, “Why on earth would Sara put a David Allan Coe song on her wedding CD?  Especially this one?”  I just laughed and told her that’s what makes Sara’s wedding favor so timeless.

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It’s a slow day around the fort, so I’m just going to post two videos that crack me up every time I see them.  Enjoy.

Charlie and Dennis’ Day Man 

Dip It In’t Cup 

Updated because…how could I forget this one?  I love you, Steve Coogan.  Even if you did supposedly lure Owen Wilson into a such a supposedly debauched and drug-riddled lifestyle that he supposedly attempted to commit suicide.  You’re Alan Partridge, Steve!  How long can I really be mad at you?

I’m Sorry…That Was Just Noise 

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A Sad Day

R.I.P. Lucky Dube

South African reggae star shot dead

The South African reggae musician, Lucky Dube, has been shot dead in front of his children in Johannesburg during an attempted car hijacking.

He had been dropping his teenage son and daughter off in the suburb of Rosettenville on Thursday evening.

Police say they were already out of the car when three shots were fired through a car window killing their father.

Alongside Bob Marley, he was thought of as one of the great reggae artists — singing about social problems.

He was also one of the apartheid regime’s most outspoken critics.

Correspondents say the killing has shocked South Africans who are already accustomed to one of the highest murder rates in the world.

Ironically, Lucky Dube was a victim of the very crimes he spoke out against in his music.  Lucky was a good man who — although he identified with the Rastafarian movement — abstained from drugs and alcohol his entire life and devoted himself to spreading the message of peace and hopefulness through his music.  He was born into and fought bravely against Apartheid and, later, the rising tide of seemingly uncontrollable violence in his country.  He lent his incredible talent and fame to support social and political causes throughout Africa and remained a man of his people until his death.

I think his fan site might say it best, though:

When asked what inspires him (Lucky), he humbly notes – “People! Looking at people, watching people’s movements, the things they do. My songs are based on real life situations and experiences.”

From the release of his first reggae album in 1984, to his present superstar status today, Lucky has maintained the humble nature that brings him closer to the people that so inspire his music. He has toured the world more times over than anyone could dream of and shared stages with names such as Maxi Priest, Sinead O-Connor, Peter Gabriel, Michael Jackson, Seal, Ziggy Marley, Celine Dion, Sting and many, many others. He has raked in over 20 local and international awards for his music and videos, yet as a person he is unaffected by his success. Still living in the country that gave him birth, he records with his original sound engineer and belongs to the same record comany. A true gentleman, Lucky’s down-to-earth nature is one of his finest qualities.

His music is riddled with the desire to make the world a better place.

Go in peace, Lucky.

.

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I was just thinking to myself the other day, “Wow.  It’s been a long time since I’ve publicly embarassed myself at work.  Go me!”  Alas, I thought too soon.

Today, in the break room as we were all huddled around the leftover chips and queso from the executive lunch buffet down the hall, I decided to make small talk with Ted.  I asked him how his recent trip to England had been and stupidly prattled on about how my fiance is from there, can’t wait to go myself, blah blah fishcakes.  Ted simply stared at me for a few beats (as was everyone else at this point) and then finally spits out:

“I’m Alan.  Ted is the other black guy who works here.”

Oh, rock!  Where are you when I need you to provide a nook for me to crawl under?  And what is wrong with me?

Also, Alan totally stole that line from the Queen Latifah/SNL Excedrin: Racial Tension Headache commercial, dammit.

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