Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2018 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is "Cleaning the Clutter"--I might literally be cleaning my closets or figuratively clearing the excess from some other part of my life. I'm sure you can think of other things this could mean for you as well.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

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Friday, June 22, 2018

Yippee Yee Haw! ( #BOTB Results )

.
           Remember those cowboy heroes who were men of few words who just got down to doing what needed to be done?   Well, that's me on vacation--not necessarily heroic, but just gettin' it done.  Today I'm just delivering the results of my Battle of the Bands featuring the song "Cowboy Dreams"...


Battle of the Bands Results

   

       Some of you mentioned that this was a tough Battle and I agree.  I could go either way on this match as well, but since I've got to go with one of them then I'm going to cast my vote for Nigel Livingstone.   My reasons are much like some of you stated--the greater energy of the version and a preference for the instrumental back-up.  

      Jimmy Nails immediately ran off with the lead in this Battle, but Nigel Livingstone pulled up close behind in the final round of voting.   Good job Jimmy.   Not bad Nigel.

Final Vote Tally

Jimmy Nails              10 votes

Nigel Livingstone       7 votes


Next Battle on Sunday July 1st

          Since my next Battle is going to be a Sunday Battle then I'm going to take it to church--well, kind of church.   Hopefully I'll post it okay and as long as my computer cooperates I'm sure I will.

        Are you having a great summer so far?













Friday, June 15, 2018

Cowboy Dreams (#BOTB)


        John Wayne would probably not make it in today's entertainment world.  Like so many other screen legends, Wayne has become a relic of the past.  Too bad.  We could use more heroic heroes.  

This was part of my late step-father's John Wayne memorabilia collection.
 Maybe I should have kept that collection, but selling it all on eBay
wasn't a terrible idea either.
Childhood Fantasies

         We'd play lots of made up fantasy games when I was a kid.  Cowboys and Indians was a favorite.  I don't know that many kids pretend to be cowboys and Indians these days.  It might be considered culturally insensitive, too violent,  or something like that.  If kids do play fantasy role games now, maybe they pretend to be activists or lawyers.   Hopefully kids still have fun and stretch their imaginations, but I'm happy that I grew up in the time I did.  You could literally be anyone you wanted to be in your dreams and not be shamed for doing so.  But it was also a time of better morality in many ways.

         For me, the concept of cowboys takes me back to those childhood fantasies.   Today's Battle of the Bands song uses cowboy imagery in a metaphorical way:  A man in love seeing himself as a sort of romantic cowboy hero.   America and the world still has a certain fanciful image of cowboy life so I think that makes the romantic cowboy metaphor work.  See what you think...


Battle of the Bands

     Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some blogs there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle on the 1st of the month.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.


Cowboy Dreams

         This song was written by Prefab Sprout's Paddy  McAloon for the 1994 BBC television series Crocodile Shoes.    Prefab Sprout has been one of my favorite pop/rock groups since I first discovered them back in the eighties.  In my opinion Paddy McAloon is one of the best of modern era songwriters.   Please don't vote on the original, but if you want to hear how Prefab Sprout does the song then you can click this link.  They released their version in 2001.  This is a lovely version with a nice video--please don't vote for it as much as you might be tempted to do.

       The current Battle looks at two other version of the song.   See which you enjoy the most...

Jimmy Nail   "Cowboy Dreams"  (1994)

          Jimmy Nail was the star of the BBC series Crocodile Shoes.  Here is his version from that show. 
       




Nigel Livingstone  "Cowboy Dreams"  (2016)

       In my brief search I didn't find much about this artist.   He appears to be from Ireland and mostly plays in pubs and such, though he does have several YouTube videos.  Nigel kicks up the tempo on his version..





Time to Vote!

        
Okay pardner, time to saddle up and vote for your favorite version of the two that I've presented here.  Which song version do you like best? You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

         Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.



Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Angel's Bark  


Debbie Doglady's Den

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside 



Winner of this Battle Announced on Friday June 22nd

        I'll be visiting family in Florida about this time so I hope I can get these results up in a timely manner.  Then I'll be in Jersey for several days so I'll likely have limited internet time during my trip.  Please bear with me.  I'll try to make some blog rounds, but I can't guarantee much.

         Hope you have a great summer!

          Did you play cowboys and Indians when you were a kid?     Do kids today still play cowboys and Indians?  Do you think playing this fantasy game is culturally insensitive or politically incorrect or something like that?












Friday, June 8, 2018

This Speed I Don't Need (#BOTB results)


         Oh, for those days of childhood when time would last forever and forever was a day.  
          And holidays and birthdays always seemed a million miles away.
         But now my today is tomorrow and I seem to be missing a lot of yesterdays.
        Yes, such is life.  There's not much more that I can say.
   
Time to pack up...

          Time really got away from me this week, but I guess that happens every week.   I do have somewhat reasonable excuses like getting ready for our summer trip and working on that song that I mentioned on earlier posts.

           If you missed those mentions, the song is called "Let's Run" and my friends and I finished a reasonably decent demo considering the rush job that we put on it.   I think I will have a surprise of sorts concerning this song in August or thereabouts. 

          For now, though, I do need to "run" in order to get this results post out for the Friday appearance.

Battle of the Band Results



        I'm going to be doing a couple of summer-themed Battles in June and my recent Battle was one of those.   The song was "Tom Sawyer" originally by Rush.  The covers were jazzed up versions by an acoustic guitar trio and a heavy jazz piano trio whose specialty seems to be covers of heavy rock songs.

        I like both of these a great deal, however I think Bad Plus captured the spirit of the song best.  As John and Sixgun noted, any re-creation of Rush should have a massive drummer.  The interplay between the musicians in both bands is amazing, but I felt that The Bad Plus version was more spontaneous and wild flowing as opposed to calculated precision playing--which is not a bad thing by any means.

        In any case, my vote is going to The Bad Plus.   

Final Vote Tally

Montreal Guitar Trio      11

The Bad Plus                    4

Next Battle on Friday June 15th

        Another summer daydream song in the vein of "Tom Sawyer" as I would envision the barefoot boy in Hannibal, Missouri with his pals.  My next song has to do with a boyhood fantasy that Tom and his buddies might have played and I know that I did too.  I don't know if kids still play this, but I'll bet more than a few readers probably did when they were young.


          What was your favorite fantasy game to play when you were a kid?   Do you like to hear artists performing in one genre doing cover versions from very different genres?   Do you prefer precisely composed music or improvisation?  









Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Playing the Name Game ( #IWSG )


     If I didn't know people's names then I wouldn't know who was who using an easy identifying label.  However it's all a rather moot point since I usually forget someone's name shortly after they've told me.  So I guess that much of the time even with the names I still don't know who is who...



Join us on the first Wednesday of each month in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group--a forum of writers who gather to talk about writing and the writer's life. For a complete list of participants visit Alex's Blog

Co-hosts for the June 6 posting of the IWSG are Beverly Stowe McClure,Tyrean Martinson, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!



June 6 question - What's harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

          Coming up with titles is one of my favorite parts of the writing process.  On many occasions I've come up with a title first and then built from there with a story, essay, or song.  In fact, I have lists of titles waiting for something to be created for them.

           Titles come from many sources for me.  It might be something I hear someone saying, a reference to a current or historical event, or some phrase that seems to pop into my head for no reason.  I'll get a title and then start thinking up something to go with it.

        For example, my most recent focus has been on a song that I've written (which I mentioned here and here).  The song idea started with a chord progression, a rhythm, and a somewhat odd melody--no lyrics or title.  As I worked with the song in my head. the concept of running came to me--that's what the music reminded me of.   From there I started with a working title of "Run" which almost immediately changed to "Let's Run" partly because it was a two syllable phrase and it suggested a corporate venture between singer and listener (or writer and reader).  The title came quickly and stuck because it was logical, simple, and I thought it sounded good in context with the song feel.

        The names for characters in stories is a bigger challenge to me.  Since I often picture actual real life people whom I know, it is difficult to disassociate my character with that real person whose name just seems to make sense.  Changing a real name to a fictional moniker rarely feels right to me so I'll try to come up with a name that is similar to that real name or suggestive of something about that real person.  Maybe I should avoid modeling characters after real people, but I think most writers probably come up with characters this way.   After all, it's easier to write about a character whom I can clearly picture in my mind.   That's the way it works for me.

         By the way, regarding my song "Let's Run":   I've been putting together some rough recordings with the help of a couple of my neighbors.  Hopefully, by the end of the summer I'll have something to share with my readers.  I'm writing about it on my blog for legal purposes since I don't know the first thing about getting a song published or recorded.  So this is notice that I've written a metaphorical song with the title "Let's Run."    I'm probably doing this all wrong, but we'll see where this all goes.

          What do you think makes for a good title?   Do you base your fictional characters on actual people?   Do you have any favorite fictional names that other authors have used?


           My most recent Battle of the Bands can be found here.  If you haven't voted yet, please do.  Voting closes Thursday June 7th with winner announced on Friday the 8th.















Friday, June 1, 2018

Tom Sawyer (#BOTB)


      Summertime hearkens back to memories of a childhood roaming barefoot, exploring caves and woods, and floating on a raft downriver.  Those aren't my memories of anything I did, but I saw it in movies and read about it in books.   My summer memories are of going to an air-conditioned theater to watch movies. Yeah, I guess that sounds bad and it's not totally true either...


Drawing of Huckleberry finn with a rabbit and ...
Drawing of Huckleberry finn with a rabbit and a gun,
 by EW Kemble from the original 1884 edition of the book.。
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
         There are so many songs that are about summertime.   I'm sure you have a few favorites in this genre.   Add to those the songs we associate with summer vacation because of memories those songs bring to us.   I think of songs that were on the charts and being played on the radio.   Then there are songs about concepts or cultural references.  Can you think of any examples of songs that might fit into this category?  One that comes to my mind is the song I'll be using in this episode of...

Battle of the Bands


        Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some blogs there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle on the 1st of the month.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.


Tom Sawyer

         I've always liked the Rush song epic "Tom Sawyer" (click to be reminded, but please don't vote on this version).   For years I'd heard this song and others by the Canadian band, but I never jumped on the Rush fan-wagon until I saw a concert video of them on television back around 2003 I'm guessing.  After that I was sold on the band and went and bought a large part of their library on CD.

         For this Battle I've chosen two interesting acoustic covers of the Rush song.   To some extent I think these covers are equal to the original.  I have no doubt that  some of you might say they are even better.  Take a listen and you be the judge...

Montreal Guitar Trio  "Tom Sawyer"  (2014)




The Bad Plus  "Tom Sawyer"  (2007)







Time to Vote!

        
What d'ya think?  What's your favorite between these two choices? Which song version do you like best? You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

         Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.


Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Angel's Bark  


Debbie Doglady's Den

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside 



Winner of this Battle Announced on Friday June 8th

      On Wednesday the 6th I'll have my post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, so be here for that. And by all means see who won this Battle on June 8th. It's been busy for me of late and it looks like things might get busier. I'll try to keep the pace.
       
        What are some of your favorite childhood summer memories?   Do you ever look back with some wonder that you survived intact?   What was your biggest summer adventure in your adult years?






Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Ain't No Time for the Summertime News (#BOTB Results)



I don't mind working while on a vacation so long as someone is paying my expenses.  Come to think of it I'd rather work than do certain summer activities...


       Gosh, it's almost summer.  I've been pondering our travels for the upcoming months.  We'll basically do our same road trip round of going back to the east coast to visit family in New Jersey and Tennessee.   It's a frantic fun time, but so much easier when I've carefully mapped out the route and scheduled rest stops and overnight stays.  We've done this plenty of times now so I've got the routine down fairly well.

        Or do I?   Road trips make good metaphors.  By the way, I'd mentioned that I'd started writing a song back during April A to Z.  Now I've finished it and I think I've got a good one.  Next I've got to get some kind of recording made, but that's just part of the process.  In this post I'm just establishing the fact that I've written this song just in case I need this as documentation for something someday.  I mean--who knows what can happen?

        I might also add that this song I wrote is also a metaphor.  Not only do I like metaphors, I also like the word "metaphor."   But enough of this ramble.  No time for this now.  Must be moving on to some other things.

       Things like...


Battle of the Bands Results


         The musical match between Dinah Shore and Ozzie Nelson was another squeaker with my vote for Ozzie almost making this previous Battle a tied outcome.  Alas, my guy didn't win, but the lady can take her bow for the win.

Final Vote Tally

Ozzie Nelson            7

Dinah Shore             8

Next Battle on Friday June 1st

       In upcoming weeks my Battles will be geared toward summer themes.  Summer gets my mind to dreaming and thinking, but I guess that's the case all the time.  The mind never really goes on vacation.

        How long of a road trip do you think you could endure if all of your expenses were covered?  Do you prefer to travel according to a well planned schedule or just setting out on a blind adventure to see where life takes you?   Are you going to be following the A to Z Road Trip?







Tuesday, May 15, 2018

I'll Never Say Never Again Again (#BOTB)


      Words like "always" or "never" are overly rigid so I try not to use them, but I'm never successful and always end up using them at some point...


            For the past few years I've considered not doing the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge any more.  It's partly a result of the stress I've felt due to doing the Challenge, but my reluctance to continue is also due to a certain amount of frustration and disappointment I feel about the Challenge not being conducted in a way that is consistent with the Challenge of my dreams.

           Then, each May, it's all over and a lot of people seem happy and excited and I start thinking about the next year.   This past fall I was feeling especially despondent about doing another A to Z because of a number of factors that I won't go into in this post.   Thankfully my longtime A to Z blogging associate J Lenni Dorner got the ball rolling for me.

          Fellow blogger John Holton also provided his technical expertise which got us out of a few fixes that I certainly didn't know what to do with.  I almost feel like I grew up with John as we share many similar life experiences from what I've gathered on reading his blog.

           Csenge has also been helping for several years and was willing to provide her support again. New A to Z Team member Jayden brilliantly handled the lists and even provided helpful technical support to make finding participants more easily. 

             As long as I have other bloggers who want to keep A to Z going then I'm encouraged.  But it's like a lot of things in life.  I've tried to make a conscious effort of not saying that I'll never do something again.  It's a limiting phrase and I like to keep my options open. 

           I'm not going to say that I'll never say never again when there is some possibility that I will.  I might say it, but I try not to. 

Battle of the Bands


    Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some blogs there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle on the 1st of the month.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.


I'll Never Say "Never Again" Again

          Last year I happened upon an episode of The Jack Benny Show (one of my favorite shows from childhood) that featured Frankie Avalon singing a song that I had heard all of my life, but I couldn't exactly place the song.  Then I realized it was actually a meshing of two songs--"Never Say Never Again Again" and "Taking a Chance on Love"--cleverly interwoven.   Battle idea inspired!

         Since I couldn't find anyone else doing what Avalon did, I decided to focus on one song only--"Never Say Never".  Sometime later I'll do another Battle with "Taking a Chance", but that will be like eventually rather than right away.  But I'll never say never!

         For this Battle I'll be matching two very different versions by two artists who were stars of  television shows in the fifties...

Ozzie Nelson  "I'll Never Say 'Never Again' Again"  (1935)

        Ozzie Nelson had a long career as a band leader/singer as well as a star of stage, screen, radio, and television.  I grew up watching the Nelson family in "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet".  Now the music of son Ricky Nelson is more well known than Dad Ozzie, but still those cats back then could really swing...





Dinah Shore  "I'll Never Say 'Never Again' Again" (1957)

        Twenty-two years after Ozzie did it, Dinah did it in her own sultry way.  She'd been a musical star for almost as long as Ozzie and hosted several popular television shows into the 1990's.  Dinah's arrangement of this song is very similar to the one I'd heard by Frankie Avalon so I'm guessing he was basing his version on hers.  It's a sound of the times...





Time to Vote!

       
  Come on and play. What's your favorite between these two choices? Which song version do you like best? You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

         Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.

Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Angel's Bark  


Debbie Doglady's Den

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside 



Winner of this Battle Announced on Tuesday May 22

         That will likely be the next day I post here, but if inspired I will write.   The next Battle of the Bands post on my blog will be Friday June 1st.  Summer songs are a-comin'!


           Have you ever felt like quitting and then were lifted into action by others?  Did you ever say you definitely were not going to do something only to change your mind?   Do you have any favorite old television shows?  






Friday, May 11, 2018

Happy Mother's Day!!!



Thought I'd post this last minute Mother's Day video message that was created by my daughter Ada Z.   She's been doing some great video work (not just my opinion).  Hope you enjoy it!  Please share with others and maybe you can go to YouTube and "Like" Ada's video and maybe add your comment of support on that page.   Comments below are also welcomed.







        Don't forget the Moms in your life.  Mother's Day (in the U.S.) is this Sunday May 13th.








Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Moving to the Next Thing ( #BOTB Results)


        The next thing on this blog is the results of my most recent Battle of the Bands post.  But first a word...



Once again Jeremy Hawkins has designed a special T shirt to commemorate this year's challenge.
2018 Blogging from A to Z Challenge T shirts now available!   For info visit A to Z T shirts.


Battle of the Bands Results


     This past Battle was the song "My Favorite Things" with versions from a current car commercial and some creepy video by an interesting performer:  Nora Khalif and Joe Raciti.

      Nora's version first caught my attention and Joe's fixated it and honed it into an odd fascination.  I liked both versions, but there's more to Joe's version and that's where my vote went.  I guess I'm getting pretty good at this BOTB game.  This Battle stayed very close.

Final Results

Nora           9 votes

Joe             11 votes

Next Battle on May 15th 









Sunday, May 6, 2018

#AtoZ Reflections for 2018





           This was my ninth year at the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.  It's always been a somewhat frantic time for me in regard to my blog, but invariably some family crisis or event has arisen which made blogging more difficult for me.  But this year--as Frank Sinatra might sing--it was a very good year.

         Thanks to the incredible A to Z Team-- 
Zalka Csenge Virág @ The Multicolored DiaryJohn Holton @The Sound of One Hand TypingJ Lenni Dorner @ Blog of J Lenni DornerJayden R Vincente @ J R Vincente Erotica Writer
--my job was made so much easier and every problem that I was aware of got quickly remedied by the great minds that were assembled to run this year's Challenge.  A huge Thank You to the Team and to all the players who joined us on our alphabetical blog run of 2018.

         There is an excellent survey for A to Z participants and followers alike.  I hope you will follow this link and help us with your input.  There is also some other cool information.  

         Please stop by to thank the above linked A to Z Team members.  They really did an amazing job.

          I look forward to reading some of this year's batch of Reflections.

          Thanks to everybody who visited this blog during the April Challenge or ever any other time.










Tuesday, May 1, 2018

My Favorite Things (#BOTB) (#IWSG)



          Another successful year of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is now almost behind us.  The letter posts are done but don't forget to join us in our annual Reflections posts starting Monday May 7th.   And visit the A to Z Blog on May 3rd to participate in our after Challenge poll.  We have some questions for you and want to know your thoughts...





Insecure Writer's Support Group

Join us on the first Wednesday of each month in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group--a forum of writers who gather to talk about writing and the writer's life. For a complete list of participants visit Alex's Blog

The awesome co-hosts for the May 2 posting of the IWSG are E.M.A. Timar, J. Q. Rose, C.  LeeMcKenzie, and Raimey Gallant! Please visit their blogs to say hello and thank you!



May 2 question - It’s spring! Does this season inspire you to write more than others, or not?

         This is a question that I've never thought about before hence I'm not sure that I can provide any quantifiable answer--that is until the past several years.  One certain thing is that since I've been doing the A to Z Challenge I definitely write more in March and April, even if it is only blog posts.  For me that's writing as much as anything is. 

         Furthermore, with the A to Z writing comes a flood of ideas for future writing and other projects.  I even started some new future blog posts.  I've also been reassessing who I am as a writer and where I should take things next.  And most exciting for me at the moment is that during the past week I've written a song that I think is a pretty darn good one and I'll be polishing that up over the next couple of weeks. 

         When I was still in college I can recall springtime calling me out to read and write on grassy lawns or in one of the student facilities geared toward studious activities.  But then I think I was writing about equally in all seasons.  Now I don't see any connection to writing and seasons other than the A to Z Blogging.   I'm thankful that I've got that event to spur me on.

Battle of the Bands


Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some blogs there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle on the 1st of the month.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.


My Favorite Things

        Some of my favorite things are the Blogging from A to Z Challenge and Insecure Writer's Support Group.   One of my most favorite things is Battle of the Bands which is why I haven't missed a one of these since they first started about five years ago.  That's a lot of Battles with a lot of great music! 

         BOTB co-founder Stephen T. McCarthy (as well as others) and I have pondered the question of why some people like certain things better than others.  The concept of "favorites" can be perplexing at times and probably would require a fairly in-depth study why some of us like certain things while others don't.  If anyone has an answer to this question I welcome your input on this subject.

        In the past few weeks I started hearing a song on a Volvo commercial that sounded vaguely familiar.  I didn't pay too much attention at first, but as the song started securing itself in my brain I started paying attention to it.  At that point I realized I was hearing an updated electronica version of "My Favorite Things" from Sound of Music

         I happen to know that this is a favorite song of my friend Stephen T McCarthy because we've discussed it in the past.   On the other hand, as I have mentioned to STMcC, "Favorite Things" is far from my favorite things.  I don't dislike hearing it, but I think it might be something about the lyrics that I don't care for.   As I have conceded to Stephen in the past, I do agree that the melody is very nice which is probably why I like the song better as an instrumental than a vocal number.

       Hearing the Volvo commercial repeatedly eventually earwormed the song into my head--or at least this version.   The immediacy of hearing this commercial decided my first post-A-to-Z blog post.   All other songs in my queue get knocked down a notch as this May Day round matches two versions of the song "My Favorite Things"...
         

Nora Khalif  "My Favorite Things"  (2018)

        I don't have any info on the artist, but this is the commercial version of a recording that presumably is still in the works for a longer version sometime down the road.   At least this version is very short which makes it a good pick for Battle of the Bands...

       






Joe Raciti  "My Favorite Things"  (2010)

        If we're going with odd versions of an old classic, then this "creepy" version seems to fit that bill.   I didn't research to find anything about the artist, but I did watch several of his videos.  He's got some interesting stuff on YouTube if you are intrigued after watching this video.   But first listen to his version of "Favorite Things"--and if you are able to do so you might enjoy watching the video--it's kind of weird, but good...







Time to Vote!

    
   
  Please vote. What's your favorite between these two choices? Which song version do you like best? You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.

Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Angel's Bark  

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside 



Winner of this Battle Announced on Tuesday May 8th

          Hope you'll stop by for my A to Z Reflections post on Monday May 7th, but definitely if you've voted in this current contest then you'll want to see who comes out on top.   By the way, due to a death in the family I will be away from the computer until Friday May 4th on which day I will hopefully make it around to all of the other BOTB posts.  Hope you'll bear with me on this, but it was not in my plans.

            Will you be submitting an A to Z Reflections post this year?    When you write do you tend to get a renewed creative energy to do more things?   Do you like hearing old classic songs in updated unconventional versions?







Monday, April 30, 2018

Zipperless Trousers ( #atozchallenge )



      I've never used the word trousers when I was referring to pants.  Who actually says "trousers" anymore?   It's one of those words that sounds formal or like something from the past.  And it makes for a curious sounding blog post title...




Trousers
Trousers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



Zipperless Trousers

      A couple years ago I found a pair of pants that I absolutely loved.  They fit comfortably, they were made of a durable fabric that was comfortable in all sorts of weather, and they had some great pockets.  That summer after acquiring this outstanding pair of pants, I wore those pants as part of my driving outfit for our vacation that year.  They were one of the best pairs of pants I'd ever owned.

        Then after returning home, I went to put on that pair of pants and to my disappointment the zipper broke--came undone.  I tried to fit it back together, but to no avail.  On our next trip to the dry cleaner I brought the broken-zippered pants to be repaired by the little old Asian lady who did such things.  Twelve dollars is what she charged.  Well worth it to me to get that pair of pants back finally.

          I guess I wore them once or twice after getting them back when the zipper broke in the same way.  Maybe the lady just fixed the old zipper or maybe she put in an inferior zipper.  Whatever the case, the pants were not wearable as they were so I hung them in my closet in order to deal with later.

         Therein lies part of the gist of my clutter situation.  I keep things that I think I might fix or might be able to use in the future somehow.  Though I've never taken any count on it, I'm guessing that at least 10% of what I own could be dumped immediately because--let's face it--I'm never going to fix it and it's probably not worth fixing anyway. 

         I've got a lot of work to do in the months to come--I'm taking my time with this project since it's a lifetime project.  Get rid of stuff and try not to accumulate much more of anything.  Goodwill--look out!  I'll be coming your way.

         And so that brings me to an end of this year's Challenge theme--Cleaning the Clutter.   By no means is it the end of my project and maybe as time goes by I'll post updates of any major breakthroughs.   Thanks to all who stayed with me from the beginning of my "Cleaning the Clutter" series as well as to those who dropped by at least once. 

          Now to think about the 2019 Challenge which will be the 10th annual.  We'll have to come up with something big!

              Do you tend to keep damaged clothes that you think you might eventually repair?   Have you done any spring cleaning yet?   Any suggestions about how to make the next A to Z Challenge more special than it already is?