Three To Get Ready

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3 years of Trash talk!

So apparently I’ve made (and missed) another bloggaversary. To be completely fair, I’ve been a little lax in the originality department lately, not to mention traipsing off to New York again AND crossing a live-in-person Wrestlemania off my bucket list…so it was an easy event to miss. And yes, once again I set my digital pen to tell y’all that I’ll try to do better. And I will try–it’s just this blogging thing really is WORK. Balancing it with real-world obligations isn’t easy either, and I’ve been experimenting with this odd little thing the cool kids call a “social life.” But I do rather enjoy occupying my little corner of the Interwebs, and hope to show you a little more of my Princess realm in the years to come.

YAY ME! I TURNED THREE!

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300

THIS.....IS.....SPARTA!!!!!!!

THIS…..IS…..SPARTA!!!!!!!

Had to mark it but have absolutely no imagination after lining up Marriage Minded Monday reposts and tracking the whole season of So You Think You Can Dance. Though it’s not all original content it IS a pretty big deal, getting to 300 posts in these last 2 1/2 years of blogging. I think I’m getting my feet under me here….

Let's kick off the next round!

Let’s kick off the next round!

NOLA Strong: 8 Years Later

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Remembering but not reminiscing….we can’t be kept down

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The Balcony Is Closed: Gene Siskel, Roger Ebert and My Love Affair with Them and the Movies

balconyisclosed

Yesterday afternoon my Twitter feed was flooded with news of Roger Ebert’s passing. Not five minutes before I read those headlines I saw a link from his blog about his “Leave of Presence,” where he outlined his plans to step back from his incredibly heavy schedule reviewing movies and restructuring and revamping his own website and interests. Even in the face of declining health, Mr. Ebert was planning to move forward full throttle.

I remember as a young child watching selected programs on public television; one of those programs came on much later than my bedtime allowed, but I somehow managed to sneak in front of a TV to watch. It was a movie review program with two seemingly astute and knowledgeable critics giving their spirited opinions about recent theatrical releases. Yep, I was a 12 year old egghead watching Sneak Previews. Much like many who follow Mr. Ebert and his TV partner Gene Siskel through each incarnation of their show (At The Movies, Siskel & Ebert At The Movies, Siskel & Ebert AND The Movies, etc.), most of my viewing experience was guided by their simple “thumbs up/thumbs down” approval ratings system. Admittedly, the “stars” rating did come into play, but movie executives and marketers lived and died for the “two thumbs up” badge of honor. Of course, there were certain opinions of theirs I didn’t necessarily agree with (and movies I saw anyway despite their panning), but I would always listen to their viewpoints and consider them carefully as I watched or avoided a given film. (No offense intended to Richard Roeper, Siskel’s TV successor and Ebert’s seemingly heir-apparent, but this was the dynamic duo I grew up with and swore by for many years….so this is a huge loss for me.)

My favorite Roger Ebert memory, however, came from his appearance during the NAACP Image Awards. I wish I remembered what year it was and that I saved the recording, but this cemented his cool points with me. Comedian Steve Harvey was hosting a tribute section for the Isley Brothers and picking people from the audience “at random” to play a game of Name That Isley Tune. Harvey called upon Mr. Ebert, who stood ready and eager to participate. As the music played he seemed to think about his answer, then leaned toward his companion, a beautiful Black woman, for confirmation of the correct answer. After giving his answer Harvey asked Mr. Ebert if the lovely lady was his date. Puffing out his chest, Mr. Ebert proudly stated, “That’s my wife.” Quickly recovering from his brief surprise, Harvey gave Mrs. Chaz Ebert a quick once-over, looked at Mr. Ebert and said, “Two thumbs up.” The response garnered both Harvey and Ebert a thunderous round of applause.

I was saddened to hear about cancer diagnoses for both Mr. Siskel and Mr. Ebert; we lost Mr. Siskel in 1999 due to surgical complications from a brain tumor, and later hearing about Mr. Ebert’s battle with thyroid cancer was equal parts painful and inspiring to watch. We all sat dreading this day but dwelling in hope from all of the blog posts and reviews and exciting projects Mr. Ebert kept up. I imagine that enough groundwork and structure was set in place for everything to continue forward as planned, it’s just going to be markedly sadder because of this huge loss to the entertainment community.

Mr. Ebert’s last line in his last published blog was, “I’ll see you at the movies.” I look forward to it, sir. Until then, and for the last time, the balcony is closed.

Thank you, gentlemen....save some popcorn for me.

Thank you, gentlemen….save some popcorn for me.

Related articles:
Leave of Presence – Roger Ebert: http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2013/04/a_leave_of_presense.html
Ebert and Siskel: Partners shared unique relationship: http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/chi-ebert-siskel-20130404,0,7261935.story
Roger Ebert’s Journal–Remembering Gene: http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2009/02/i_remember_gene.html
Roger Ebert Reunites With Gene Siskel to Review Heaven – Hypervocal.com: http://hypervocal.com/news/2013/roger-ebert-obit/
Roger Ebert – words away: http://davidmzs.wordpress.com/2013/04/05/roger-ebert/
Roger Ebert, RIP – Whatever: http://whatever.scalzi.com/2013/04/04/roger-ebert-rip/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

The Terrific Twos

Two already? Terrific....

Two already? Terrific….

ter·rif·ic  [tuh-rif-ik]
adjective

1.extraordinarily great or intense: terrific speed.
2.extremely good; wonderful: a terrific vacation.
3. causing terror; terrifying.

So apparently I’m two years and two days into this blogging thing….

It’s been a terrific ride, by ALL of those definitions: I’ve had some intense and wonderful moments and it’s largely been a lot of fun. Mainly, this whole thing is still terrifying as all get-out.

I’m still trying to find my rhythm with this one but I think I’ve got a good plan in place. I’m trying to keep up the Marriage Minded Mondays and keep them pretty well balanced, I still have a few Trash Prompts in the pocket to publish, there are two really substantive interviews I’ve been stalled on finishing (once I give myself a swift kick and publish them, you’re gonna love them–they’re really good and quite informative), and I’m sure there’s some fodder out there for a new series of Dumbass Diaries. Not to mention I know for a fact there’s a 10th season of So You Think You Can Dance coming up, so…yeah, this two year old is picking up steam.

Now my other blog, Practicing Christian, needs some intensive care. I don’t know how other people with more than one blog manage to balance things….I had such ambitious plans for the beginning of the year, and have only managed a few reposts. I’ve done the background research on setting things up but I can’t figure out how to best set up a self-sustaining plan. I dislike the red-headed stepchild treatment myself, so I’m feeling mad guilt about neglecting my other “baby.” Something I still have to work on, I guess.

Still finding my legs and my voice like any other two-year-old, but with practice I think I can go from wobbly knees to a full sprint. Thanks for hanging with me on the journey–let’s see what new kind of trouble we can get into. 😉

Smiley-tantrum

Merry Mondegreens: A Host of Misheard Lyrics and Alternate Verses

It’s that time of year again, where we pull out the Christmas music, old and new, to get us in the holiday spirit. Every year artists old and new put their distinctive spin on popular holiday standards and hymns, creating the soundtrack for our parties, tree trimming and other holiday gatherings. And, like most songs, they also lend themselves to interpretation…and sometimes, MIS-interpretation. Many a song has had a mondegreen—or a misheard lyric—pop up, often with strange and amusing outcomes.

For instance, depending on who’s singing the tune, there are TEN reindeer named in the classic “Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and apparently she’s a mean little bugger:

    “…OLIVE, the other reindeer,
    Used to laugh and call him names…..”
Now does she look like she would hurt a fly?

Now does she look like she would hurt a fly?

One of the more chuckleworthy I’ve heard came from an old Three’s Company episode. Suzanne Somers’ “less than bright” Chrissy Snow sang this little ditty:

Even funnier was Joyce DeWitt’s Janet correcting her with the proper verse, “Let nothing you dismay,” which prompted Chrissy to respond, “Oh, I’m not sad….”

Now what would Christmas be without a little Christmas Snow?

Now what would Christmas be without a little Christmas Snow?

Speaking of classic TV, move over Charlie. You can have your angels the other 11 months of the year, but December belongs to Harold:

    “Hark! The HAROLD angels sing…..”
Charlie vs. Harold--who's the bigger boss?

Charlie vs. Harold–who’s the bigger boss?

Language barriers can bring about some fun, too, especially when you try to figure out how, outside of the Nativity scene, you can bring sheep into the fun of Christmas:

    “FLEECE Navidad”
Hopefully more "Fleece Navidad" than "Baa Humbug"....

Hopefully more “Fleece Navidad” than “Baa Humbug”….

While we’re discussing animals and Christmas, those darn Chipmunks had me confused for years:

    “We can hardly STAND AWAY,
    Please Christmas, don’t DELAY…..

alvinChipmunkSong

(Though I have to admit, I wanted that hula hoop, too…..)

woman-hula-hoop

And let’s not forget the merry band of misheard oddities in “Winter Wonderland“. I mean, if we’re in the meadow building snowmen, I imagine we have to be looking at a large, vast field of white fluffy snow:

    “In the meadow we can build a snowman,
    We can say that he is SPARSE AND BROWN”

Of course, once we figure out it’s PARSON BROWN, the true lyric “married” makes more sense…because I always wondered how you could be doing all these fun winter activities and not be happy:

    “He’ll say are you MERRY, we’ll say ‘No, man’….”

SnowmanMaking

Of course, that’s not even the STRANGE part of the song. Later versions have the second verse pretending the snowman is a circus clown, and while I can understand a bunch of rambunctious youngsters knocking it over, I still haven’t figured out where the alligators come in:

    “In the meadow, we can build a snowman,
    We’ll pretend that he’s a circus clown,
    We’ll have lots of fun with Mr. Snowman
    Until the ALLIGATORS KNOCK HIM DOWN….”
Guess alligators like winter fun, too.....

Guess alligators like winter fun, too…..

But even more interesting than mishearing the lyrics are the changing lyrics. “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” is not that bad—I only have to figure out if “you can count on me” or “you can plan on me.” (Sounds like the same thing to me, but who am I to stomp on someone else’s vocal interpretation?) But the most schizophrenic song of the holiday season has got to be “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” I do know that the original version was part of the movie Meet Me In St. Louis with Judy Garland, and those lyrics probably best fit with the storyline as well.

    “Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
    Let your heart be light,
    Next year, all our troubles will be out of sight.
    Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
    Make the Yuletide gay,
    Next year, all our troubles will be miles away….
    Here we are as in olden days…happy golden days of yore
    Faithful friends that are dear to us gather near to us once more.
    Through the years we all will be together, if the fates allow
    Until then we’ll have to muddle through somehow…
    And have yourself a merry little Christmas now.”

Judy_Garland

Sounds fine to me, but I’m guessing some deeply devout Christian singer decided it was not cheery or “seasonally accurate” enough, so the verse changed a little:

    “Through the years we all will be together,
    If the fates allow,
    HANG A SHINING STAR UPON THE HIGHEST BOUGH,
    And have yourself a merry little Christmas now….”

Christmas_Tree_by_think0

Some more Fundamentalist type won’t even give the illusion that they buy into chance and mythology, singing “if THE LORD allows.” Which is true, but was it deep enough to change a song lyric that was already cozy and welcoming? Plus, who decided that “next year, all our troubles….” Had to be “from now on our troubles….”? Alright, I SUPPOSE “next year” sounds a little defeatist, as if you’re dwelling on a miserable Christmas. I guess that one’s OK….

Ah well, impressions and interpretations aside, I’m sure you can all agree that whatever you hear (or mishear), it’s bound to create a Merry Christmas.

Now bring us some friggin’ pudding……

Carolers

Related links:
Kiss This Guy: The Archive of Misheard Lyrics: http://www.kissthisguy.com/1232song-Have-Yourself-a-Merry-Little-Christmas.htm

Snopes.com–The Red and the Mondegreen: http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/humor/mondegreens.asp

The Data Lounge: Misheard Lyrics from Christmas Songs:
http://www.datalounge.com/cgi-bin/iowa/ajax.html?t=9962703#page:showThread,9962703

Straight Dope Message Board: Christmas Lyrics You Misheard as a Kid:
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/archive/index.php/t-151608.html

The Musings of David Amulet — Misheard Lyrics, Christmas Edition (a little on the adult side):
http://davidamulet.blogspot.com/2006/12/misheard-lyrics-christmas-edition.html

LibraryThing.com – Misheard or Misunderstood Christmas Carol or Holiday Song Lyrics
http://www.librarything.com/topic/24988

Bits and Pieces — Misheard Christmas Lyrics:
http://bitsandpieces1.blogspot.com/2005/12/misheard-christmas-lyrics.html

Also check these books out:
Deck the Halls with Buddy Holly: And Other Misheard Christmas Lyrics
Olive, the Other Reindeer

Keeping it 200

Never could have made it without y'all.....

Never could have made it without y’all…..

From the first default “Hello world!” through article reposts, pictures, videos, rants, social commentary and general slices of my all-over-the-place life, I have somehow, in this almost 2 full active years of blogging, reaches my 200th post. It’s pretty cool, actually, since days ago I got my 10,000 page hit and I’m managed to interest 70-something people (plus 59 on Facebook) in reading what I have to say…and liking it from time to time. I’m starting to get a better feel for where I was to take this blog, and some of the things I want it to be. Plus, in the spirit of the New Year’s arrival, I’ve come up with a few blog resolutions:

    1. I resolve to keep the Marriage Minded Mondays going. I know I need some help in strengthening and uplifting my marriage, and I’m sure a lot of other people out there could use some new perspectives, as well. And even if you aren’t married, you can at least get some tips on how to relate to others or even how to relate to your married friends who might need a sympathetic ear.
    1. I resolve to try to be more conscious of current events. That one is gonna be hard, as I have spent a good part of my television career working at news stations and pointedly ignoring the newscasts for anything other than broadcast technical quality and REALLY hard to ignore stories. Plus, that’s what my news junkie husband and best friend are for….
    1. I resolve to create a more active atmosphere for discussion. I appreciate that folks take time to read my (often long-winded) blogs, and I’ve gotten a lot of positive praise and kudos. The love from Eliana Girard, Cole Horibe and Lin-Manuel Miranda (whose tweet of my Hamilton review still tops my stats as the busiest day) still has been psyched, and I’m really pleased when you guys ring in on the comments. I don’t know—I guess I’m greedy. As much as I want to continue sharing my thoughts with you, I’d really like to hear more from y’all as well. Even my spam has gone back to being boring….
    1. I resolve to open myself up a little more on here. I’ve already opened up a vein or two and passed along a few of my interests and opinions but I’d like to share a little more of myself with you guys. Not too much, though—my mother DOES actually read my blog and there are still a couple of things I’m saving until she’s dead. Or too senile to read. (Not wishing EITHER on you, Mom…. :-D)
    1. I resolve to find a good balance to maintain all of this, as I try to balance blogging and real life. Particularly since I’ve been wanting to better develop my spiritual journey blog, Practicing Christian. How I’m going to actively maintain TWO blogs and a real world existence is beyond me, but I hope I’m up for the challenge.
    1. I resolve to keep passing along new projects and interviews with Lin-Manuel Miranda. Oh come, on, y’all have been reading a while—you HAD to expect this one….
  • Thanks for getting me here, everyone….I’ll try to keep you interested.

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