This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

The Challenge of 2019 was the 10th! Since this was kind of a milestone year for A to Z my theme was a retrospective of sorts, looking at my 10 years as a blogger as well as ruminations about my life as it is and as I hope it yet can be. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me for this part of my journey...

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

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Monday, December 23, 2019

Last Post of 2019 ( #BOTB Results )


       For a post that sounds like it could--and perhaps should--be significant in some way, this one won't be that although a holiday greeting does seem timely...

Image result for merry christmas


               Blog visiting seems to have dropped off this month, but that's not too unusual in the month of December.   Sorry if I haven't been to your blog of late, but I've been thinking about you.  I've been thinking about a lot of things of late, but I guess I always am....

Battle of the Bands Results

        My recent Battle featured the Beatles song "Lady Madonna" as presented by two artists from southern Louisiana--Fats Domino and Potliquor. I wasn't sure how this one would turn out and my vote could have gone either way.  I decided on Potliquor since it was the version to which I was endeared nearly fifty years ago.  Seems absurd to speak in those terms now--50 years--and now we are coming to the end of yet another year.  See how we run!

       
Final Vote Tally

Fats Domino      9 votes

Potliquor            6 votes



Next Battle on Wednesday January 1st

          I wish all of you the best of Christmas and New Year.   Let us hope that everybody we'll be nicer to each other next year.  By the appearance of things in the United States and the world you might think things are terrible, but really they're not.  I've seen worse...

         What do you most look forward to in 2020?   Will you be spending Christmas with others this year or mainly be alone?   What kind of year was 2019 to you? 











Sunday, December 15, 2019

Battle in the Bayou: Lady Madonna ( #BOTB )


 Okay, now my internet seems to be running and I don't much seem to care.  Besides, it's Christmas season!  Not that I'm busy with all that, but it makes a nice excuse to be lazy...
                  
           Image result for merry christmas images


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 there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle excepting over these summer months.   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.

Lady Madonna

       Okay, it's not a Christmas song, but in a way the title sounds like one. So this is my contribution to the Christmas season at Battle of the Bands.  I'm sure everyone is familiar with this Beatles song so I don't think I need any reference link to the original. In fact, the first version at bat is pretty close to the original.  And in addition to that, Paul McCartney was inspired by the style of Fats Domino when he started writing the song.  So it seems appropriate to start this Battle off with the Fat Man's own rendition...

Fats Domino   "Lady Madonna"  (1968)

         After he found his thrill on "Blueberry Hill", Fats Domino eventually found The Beatles song "Lady Madonna" and had a minor hit with a pretty killer version of the song.  Fats died in 2017 after a long career.in music.  Hailing from New Orleans, he was a true Louisiana gentleman...







Potliquor "Lady Madonna"  (1972)

        This hard rocking band came from the next town over from New Orleans, Baton Rouge. They were among the earliest bands classified under the Southern Rock genre.  Here they are ready to testify with their version of "Lady Madonna"...







Time to Vote!
         Which version of this song do you like best.?  Don't be a Grinch who doesn't vote!   Hopefully you have an opinion of some kind. Which version do you like the 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

 ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ 

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

The Doglady's Den 

Angel's Bark  

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside 

A I Love Music


Winner of this Battle Announced on Monday 23

        Oh!  That's almost Christmas.  Maybe I'll get back in the internet groove in the next few days.  I'd better or I'm going to be hopelessly stuck in the swamp with emails.  Bye, you all!










Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Which One Was The One? ( #BOTB Results )

   You probably remember "Where's Waldo"--well that's what you might have been wondering about Arlee of late.  Damn internet!  My area was caught up in some outage that lasted 3 or 4 days.  What?  Who'd ever thought someone in Los Angeles would lose their internet?  You'd think such things couldn't happen in our modern era...



        "I Know a Place" in "Downtown" Toronto that is a wonderful old theater dating back to 1907.  It's in an old district where "Round Every Corner" there are discoveries to be made.  At present there is the return of a Canadian penned musical that is currently also running on Broadway.  I suppose it's "A Sign of the Times" that this musical is running now, but back in 1985 I had a "Happy Heart" when I found out that my teenage crush Petula Clark was going to be performing...




I Remember That Old Song!

         A few years ago on one of my cross country trips while I was passing somewhere through west Texas in the middle of a bright summer day an old familiar song came through the satellite radio.  The song sounded familiar, but not quite like I had remembered it.  The announcer identified the artist as an old favorite of mine--Petula Clark.

           Clark had captured my teenage heart when I first saw her on the Ed Sullivan TV variety show.  Already familiar with her hit "Downtown" I wanted to see what she looked like.  I thought she was lovely even though she was 20 years older than me. Besides, I always kind of liked women older than me. 
 
          As years went by I would sometimes hear Petula Clark's songs, but not often.  And I was listening to so much other music.  Still I was pleasantly surprised when in April of 1985, our touring show on Easter break in Toronto Canada, I discovered that Petula Clark was headlining a vaudeville style revue at the Royal Alexandra Theater.  Since my wife and I took every opportunity to see concerts when we were off, I was excited not only to see my "old flame" (she would have been in her fifties then and I in my thirties), but also an array of variety acts including a juggler. 

           It was a fine show as I recall, but I don't really recall much.  Mostly I remember the theater and the precipitous balcony seats we were seated in.  It was a grand place and a fine time was had by all.  So much for my memory of that.  But at least I can say that I did get to see and hear Petula Clark in person.  I guess the juggler was pretty good too...


Battle of the Bands Results




        In my recent Battle using the Petula Clark penned song "You're the One" I purposely wanted to use comparable videos taken from pop music shows partly because they both had go-go dancers and they captured a flavor of that era.  This decision may have been detrimental to Ms. Clark.  If you listen to the version that was released on record (found here)  you might see what I'm getting at.  One factor in the videos I used is that Petula Clark's version is an actual live version whereas The Vogues are lip syncing to their hit recording which most of us were more likely familiar with in the first place.

      Until I heard Petula's version on the radio in recent years I didn't even realize she had co-written the song let alone recorded the original version.  I've got to admit that the Vogues vocals and harmonies are mighty enticing--it's a good version and deserves the hit status that it retains in pop music history.  That makes for a tough choice for me.  My vote doesn't affect much of anything in this rather mismatched contest, but I'm going to go with Pet.  After all, she's an old heartthrob of mine. Besides, I think her dancers had more grace and class.  Not to say I didn't like the other dancers.  They were just fine...



Final Vote Tally

Petula Clark          3

The Vogues         13


Next Battle of the Bands on Sunday December 15
       
          God willing and my internet continue running.



           


  





Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Every Success Starts with a Dream ( #IWSG )

     ONCE upon a time I dreamed that something would happen in my future.  And it did happen, though maybe not quite like I dreamed it, but still it happened to some extent and that was a good thing.  The even better thing is that this happened more than once in my life...




The 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 co-hosts for the December 4 posting of the IWSG are Tonja Drecker, Beverly Stowe McClure, Nicki Elson, Fundy Blue, and Tyrean Martinson!


December 4 question - Let's play a game. Imagine. Role-play. How would you describe your future writer self, your life and what it looks and feels like if you were living the dream? Or if you are already there, what does it look and feel like? Tell the rest of us. What would you change or improve?



Never Too Old to Dream

           No expectations.  That's what I've learned in my life.  Sure, I still go into experiences with certain expectations, but as I get older I've tried more to go with the flow of my life and not build up expectations that are shattered once I've realized that things often don't turn out like I thought or even hoped they would.  An expectation can be a set-up for disappointment and sadness.

            Dreams are fine when fueling internal conversations and forays into imaginations, but dreams are never attained by just dreaming them.  Dreams can conceivably come true in some cases with no action, but something like writing requires doing something about it.  And just writing alone doesn't mean success until that writing gets into the hands of someone who can do something with it or one takes the personal initiative to self-publish or take whatever action works.  But as is usually the case, we have to figure out what works best for us and what our definition of success is.

         Life is filled with surprises good and bad.  What we do with the unexpected in our lives has everything to do with how happy and fulfilled we are.  Persistence may not always lead to winning, but to keep on pushing forward will get us further than we can ever get by just sitting at home filled with hopes and dreams.

         As far as writing dreams for me are concerned, I'm much further along now than I ever got some fifty or so years ago when I was in passionate pursuit of writing.  Through the years those pursuits ebbed and waned while never particularly flowing.  Blogging has helped since it's given me an easy creative outlet for my word expression, but I'd still like to see something more come of my writing in the future.  Not that I'm making many efforts to that pursuit.  If something comes as a result of my actions then fine.   I'm likely not visualizing to a great enough extent to chase down that writing dream and definitely not writing like I should be.  Still, I'm okay with that.  When the feeling overpowers me to write, then I'll write and if I don't write then I'll do something else.  Just so I'm doing something that calms my restless spirit.

         When the right dreams come then I guess I'll know.  Or at least I'll be on an adventure and adventures can last a lifetime.  I'm not sure how much longer that life will be, but in a way it doesn't matter.  The present is what matters most because now is all we really know and even that knowledge can be tenuous and filled with questions.

         Tomorrow will have its way as we pass from day to day...

         Are you a careful planner or do you enjoy rafting along the river of life?   Has the fulfillment of a dream ever taken you by surprise?   Where would you like to be in ten years?



        If you haven't voted in my Battle of the Bands yet then please drop by to vote on your favorite song version.

       







Sunday, December 1, 2019

You're the One (#BOTB)


The First of December--day number one of the final month of another year.  Time to reflect as well as to project into thoughts of the future.  What's ahead for 2020?  Plenty, but I hope this year takes its time to pass...

   
Image result for reason for the season


Reason for the Season

        Whenever a Battle of the Bands opens on a Sunday I like to use a song with some spiritual connection--usually a hymn or a contemporary Christian tune.  When Christmas season arrives I might like to use a song specific to the holiday.  Though this BOTB falls on a Sunday which is the first day of the Christmas month, I am going to use neither type of song.  Instead, I'm using a song that was a popular hit in the sixties.  The title can have s few connotations in regard to this particular Battle.  You can probably come up with a few suggestions or you can just listen to the versions I'm presenting here and vote on your favorite.  The winning song is up to you--yeah, you're the one...



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 there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle excepting over these summer months.   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.



You're the One

        The song was written and first recorded by Petula Clark, but The Vogues bested her version with their own chart topping hit.   And here are both versions as performed in popular music television shows of that era...


Petula Clark   "You're the One"  (1965)

        Pet Clark's career began in England during World War II, but it skyrocketed in the 1960's with the British music invasion of the sixties when she scored several hit records.  Her release of her own song "You're the One" was not one of her biggest hits, but it's a nice song...





The Vogues  "You're the One"   (1965)

        Anyone familiar with this song might be more apt to remember this version by The Vogues.  After all, they had a bigger hit with the song than the one who wrote it and initially recorded it.  Is this version the one you prefer?...





Time to Vote!
    
    Which version of this song do you like best.?  Don't be the one who doesn't vote!  
 Hopefully you have an opinion of some kind. Which version do you like the 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

 ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ 

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

The Doglady's Den 

Angel's Bark  

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside 

A I Love Music


Winner of this Battle Announced on Monday December 9th

         There will be a post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group on the 4th so be here for that. And by no means miss the winner's announcement post next Monday.  Stay warm!

         Who is your "one"?   Are you feeling the Christmas spirit yet?   Would you prefer to hibernate until next spring?