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This blog is part of my life journey. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me and maybe join in the discussion...

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


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

#IWSG & Battle of the Bands: It's My Life

           Another month, another edition of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, the monthly event sponsored by the blogging master Alex J. Cavanaugh.   Click on the link to find out more.  Also, I'm combining this post with my bi-monthly Battle of the Bands post--more on that later,  First, my insecurity for this month

It's My Life--Kind of Maybe

       This week I'm on call for jury duty.  It's the second time this year since I didn't get put on a jury the first time around.   Jury duty is something that I can no longer get out of even though I don't really want to participate, but if I don't then I risk getting in trouble with the law.  Whose life is it anyway?

      The government puts certain restrictions on what I can do and can't do.  When I was working, my job put a lot of limitations on my life.  I accepted that because I liked getting a paycheck.  Even now if the right job came my way I'd be willing to give up part of my personal life to merge it with a work life.

         Our lives are filled with compromises, cooperative efforts, and trade-offs.   We have the things we need to do, want to do, kind of have to do in accordance with societal expectations, or feel an obligation to do within the context of those around us.   We are not isolated beings who operate totally on our own, but we are codependent in a social sense even if not so in the dysfunctional psychological definition of the term.

         What I'm trying to say is that much of my messed up writing ambitions are certainly my own fault.  I've got a lot of control over my time and what I do with it.  Still there are family and personal obligations that I must attend to sometimes.  There are chores and life duties that must be looked after.  I give some time to church and community.

           Time is limited therefore I must take better control of it.  But there's always something to distract me from writing.  I admire all of you who are cranking out books and stories and other writings on top of doing whatever else it is you do. 

            Yeah, it's my life and I've got a lot of choices.   Getting things done takes commitment, focus, and structure.   But it seems like a lot of people want a piece of me.   I feel like Janis Joplin when she sings, "Take another little piece of my heart".   That's life I guess.  My life, but not totally.

Battle of the Bands:  It's My Life

      And now Battle of the Bands, the epic event where music loving bloggers offer up two different versions of one song for you to vote on your favorite one.   This popular event which has been ongoing for over a year now was founded by Stephen T McCarthy and Faraway Eyes.   After you vote on my pairing, please visit their posts and vote on theirs.   More possible participants will be listed at the end of this post.

Talk Talk "It's My Life" (1984)

          I was not a big fan of Talk Talk when I first heard them.   They seemed kind of weird to me.  The music was somewhat morose, brooding and introspective.  I bought a couple of their cassettes out of curiosity knowing virtually nothing about their music.  With repeated listenings their music grew on me until now I like them quite well.   "It's My Life" is one of their songs that is a favorite of mine.

No Doubt "It's My Life"  (2003)

        Gwen Stefani puts a more sultry touch to the vocals and the synthpop sound of Talk Talk is not as prevalent.  There is more energy to this version though it stays relatively close to the original in the arrangement.   No doubt that No Doubt's version is a different take on the original recording by Talk Talk.

Time to Vote!

           Which do you prefer?   I hope you'll vote, but it's your life and you can do as you like in regards to voting in this Battle of the Bands post.   But please take time to vote in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the one 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.


 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands




 Alex J. Cavanaugh

           The results of my Battle will be announced on Wednesday October 8th.  I might even post something else at that time.  I'll see what's happening in my life and whether I have time to do a real post.

            Do you sometimes feel like you're being pulled in too many directions at once?   Are you in control of your life for the most part?    What is the biggest competition for your time and attention?


  1. Hi Lee - I'm sure you'll pick something up out of sitting - if that's what happens ... which may be of value to your writing ...

    IWSG is amazing - and how much benefit it provides members ...

    Time - is always a struggle isn't it .. cheers Hilary

  2. I worked at a job I hated for nearly three years just because when I first got it I was desperate for any job. Now that I'm trying to write full time, I have a difficult time motivating myself without any deadlines hanging over my head. It is nice to be in control of my own life, however, instead of having a terrible job control it.

  3. I know exactly what you're talking about, Lee. Being retired it's amazing how much time I can spend doing all sorts of other things besides writing!

    As for you song choices... I think I'm going with No Doubt, though I didn't like the video as all.

  4. Your IWSG piece really speaks to me this morning. There was a time when I would fit pieces of time together to jot down my creativity, but now I find myself absorbed by others things with no distractions except the ones I create.

    It's My Life is a new-to-me song. While I have heard of Gwen Stefani, Talk Talk is unknown to me. The song really didn't speak to me and it certainly isn't one I will buy, but after listening to both versions, I think I like Talk Talk the best!

    Be inspired by inspiring others like me!

  5. It's all in the balance and what we choose to do with our time.
    I actually like the No Doubt version better.
    And sorry, not participating today! Next time. With the IWSG anthology and stuff, it was too much.

  6. Hilary-- Never enough time for me.

    Sarah -- I enjoyed nearly every job I've ever had and didn't stay long at the few I disliked.

    Bish-- Always something to do.

    Cathy-- I can always find something to distract me if someone else doesn't give me something to do.

    Alex--Balance and juggling. You think I'd do well at that.


  7. Great points with your IWSG post today, Lee! You definitely hit a chord with me.

    As to the BOTB, I've heard the Talk, Talk version of this song before, but it's been quite a while. I had never heard the No Doubt version.

    Listening to both, I think Talk, Talk wins this one. I really like the funky bass in the song, and the symths are not too overpowering. The Bryan Ferry-esque vocals works well for the song.

    Gwen and NO Doubt do a good job with the song, but the bass loses some of its funkiness and the arrangement doesn't have the same subtle charm of the original.

    So Talk, Talk for me.

  8. Ha, I got called for jury duty, too. Had to get a postponement. Lee, I think if we are really compelled to do something, something that is really important to our soul's fulfillment, we will find a way to do it.You'll find yours.

  9. Time and motivation can be an issue. Hope you can find some soon.

  10. I guess I'm fortunate to never have been called in for jury duty, but you're right that there are things that need our attention, even over writing.

    My vote goes to No Doubt.

  11. Well! This time it's a hard choice between the two BOTB videos! The last time I voted it was easy. I like both versions of this one a lot because I like both singers' voices. I guess I choose... darn, I don't know!!! Do I really have to choose? Okay, I'll choose No Doubt. Can't even give you a good reason why!

    Yes, especially recently I'm asking myself about "my" life. I have more time than most for writing (since I do it full time), but not making any money at it is starting to take its toll on me. Not only my confidence in my abilities, but also how I feel about not contributing to the household earnings. I've always earned my own way and I feel bad not doing so now...

  12. I could not agree more - there is ALWAYS something to distract me from writing. It sucks, and the only one who can change that is me. Great post!

  13. Sheboyganboy Six here -

    I loved the subtle tie-ins you arranged between the song and your life. Is it or is it NOT your life? And Stefani's court scene hopefully does not presage your own!

    I, too, hate jury duty and don't have time for it. Look up jury nullification. I used to be called for jury duty once per year, being ON-call but never quite getting in the courtroom. Three years ago I was finally called in and heard about the impending case. At that point we were asked if we had any questions. Being ME, I asked some... and NOBODY liked what I was asking. I was the first person excused by the judge. I guess they don't want thinkers in there, and you despite what the judge says you are allowed to vote the way you want regardless of whatever "evidence" is presented. I am NOT saying to screw it up on purpose... but I AM saying that many things are not as they seem and a thinking person can often see through the smoke and if that leaves a doubt one way or the other, you can go with it in spite of everyone else.

    Anyway... on to the vote here.

    I like both these versions. I always liked Talk Talk's song, and was already familiar with Gwen's version. I like No Doubt.

    This is one of the toughest choices for me that you've presented. I will vote No Doubt, but only by the smallest increase in bra size!

  14. It would be nice if we didn't have other obligations, and could just do whatever we wanted!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog on blitz day. You made my day!

  15. This was not the "It's My Life" I was anticipating...

    Talk Talk were one of those 80's bands I never got into, and while I am not a huge No Doubt fan, I like their version better. I tried not to let the video make the difference, but it probably was the tie-breaker.


  16. I'm working on how to become an island.

  17. I prefer Talk Talk. great sound.

  18. Again, another great job of wrapping your IWSG and BOTB post up in a neat little package.

    Like LC, this was not the 'It's My Life' that I was thinking and the one that is now constantly running through my headachey brain.

    I've always liked No Doubt, but on this one I've got to go with Talk Talk. Their version is more familiar to me, although I admit I never knew the name of the band.

    I know we're not supposed to let the video sway our vote (and I don't think it really did) and it may be that I've been watching too much film noir with despicable women characters, but whew, Gwen, what were you thinking?

  19. I like No Doubt better.

    It's all in making a decision, Lee. We can only control us and what we do.

  20. I totally feel you on the jury duty thing as I had it a couple of weeks ago. I got off lucky, though, and didn't have to serve...hope you can have the same luck :)

    Growing up in the 80s, I'm going to have to go with Talk Talk. You just can't improve on a classic.

  21. BOIDMAN ~

    I hate those 1980s "Synthetic Bands" with the synthesizer-drenched songs and the whining vocals. There were a bunch of them and they all sounded alike to me and as artificial as they could be. (And THAT'S what drove me into the waiting arms of Blues music.)

    I listened to exactly three minutes and eleven seconds of Talk Talk, and at that point my choices were to either put the business-end of my .38 up to my temple and pull the trigger, or hit the "stop" button on the video.

    Since you can see I'm typing this comment, you know I chose the latter.

    Then I listened to exactly two minutes and eleven seconds of the No Doubt version before hitting the "stop" button. (The eleven seconds connection was pure coincidence.)

    Since I listened to exactly one minute more of the Talk Talk version than I did to the No Doubt version, you are probably thinking I'm voting for Talk Talk.

    No, I'm not. I'm voting for No Doubt. It's just that 2:11 was enough of the second version to know I preferred it, without having to go on listening to mo' of that "annoying" muzak.

    I have already banned you from all of MY future 'BOTB' contests. And now I am banning me from all of YOUR future 'BOTB' contests.

    Peace, Bro!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  22. Voting for Talk Talk! I do not like Gwen Stefani's version. I saw Talk Talk open for the Psychedelic Furs in 1984 and they were awesome.

    Good luck w/ the jury duty. I find it extremely inconvenient & intrusive, and I think it's just BS that we can be forced into this alleged 'civic duty'.

  23. I do feel pulled in many directions and it's mostly my fault because I've volunteered for many things. I like all the things I'm doing so if it slows my writing down a little that's acceptable.
    I have to go with Talk, Talk for this one.

  24. I don't know about being pull in too many directions, but I know I often feel like I'm being pulled away from my writing. It's something I'm learning to accept and try to make the most of my writing time when I get some.

  25. Growing up as a child of the 80s I expected Talk, Talk to win this handily. I like Synth Pop (not all the time, of course, but occasionally). I didn't watch the videos because I didn't want to be swayed by the visuals.

    Turns out I preferred Gwen's updated non-synth version of this song. I think that maybe the vocals are more clear. Or I like them better. Not really sure which, but there you go.

    I just read a blog recently (and now can't remember who wrote it)... Mark Means maybe? about getting out of jury duty. He said his brother-in-law came in yelling, "Pick me" over and over again. Worked like a charm. Yeah, he didn't get picked.

  26. No Doubt gets my vote, and that's a gold digger if I ever saw one. Hook 'em, and cook 'em, seems to be her motto. It's the little girl voice that seems so innocent.
    Not a fave group, though.

  27. Talk, Talk gets my vote but I'm a child of the 80's so...
    I heard No Doubt's version long before I learned it was a remake. It's not horrible but it sounds, in my husband's words, empty somehow... compared to the original.

  28. Our courts must be backed up because you are the 5th person this week that said they were called for jury duty. My husband did not have to report.
    I would love to be on a jury but I had a brother murdered and I am a Press Club member. No one picks me:(
    Oh how I struggle with time...
    I like Gwen!!

  29. Jury Duty-Yuck! Can't you say something that would just make them not want to take you as a juror? It might be yucky but then, you can get out of it. Sorry that is the devil in me talking. I know what it feels like when you wish to have time just for yourself but everyone and everything is pulling you in different directions. It can be frustrating. As for which version...Easy for me...Talk, Talk! The 80's was my time, my friend! I love the video because they are talking on behalf of the animals which I agree although the black zig zaggy thing can go but that was the 80's for you. No Doubt was good but I think it missed the point and felt flat to me. She went all Jean Harlow (or tried to) and make her a rebel with a deadly bent but not the same vision as the first and I like the 80's feel of Talk, Talk

  30. After a 2nd day at jury duty and the past couple nights at the church, I got behind with my comments. It's my life kind of but a lot of things get in the way.

    Thank you all for all the fine things said here. The vote will be duly counted to be announced next Wednesday who won.

    Yeah, a lot of us out for jury duty! I got put out right at the end. What a relief! I didn't want to spend 8 to 10 days on this trial.


  31. No Doubt gets my vote but it was neat to hear the original. Thanks for sharing!

  32. I feel I have control until I see I've left some things undone... crap.

  33. Do I ever feel pulled in too many directions? ALL the time. The juggling act never ends.
    For the bands, I like both versions, but I'd give the nod to Talk, Talk because the No Doubt video turned me off cold.

  34. That's certainly my life right now - pulled every direction except where I want to go. And when nobody's pulling, I sort of sit undecided about all the things I want to get done. Frustrating.

    Those were good video's for the song. Talk Talk is almmost too subtle, and No Doubt certainly had a lot of energy. I think I liked No Doubt's more upbeat version better.

    BTw: this is Donna Hole, reinventing myself :) I haven't started back with BotB yet, it'll take a while for me to get my new site into a routine.

  35. George Carlin once said that to get out of jury duty, tell them you'd be great, cause you can spot a guilty person "just like that!"
    As far as the song goes, Talk Talk brings back memories of the '80's. I heard that song a lot back then, and to be honest, I was never sure what the guy was saying!...I mean, other than 'It's my life..' I did love the video though, speaking for the animals..
    No Doubt got a lot of air play with their version too, and I love Gwen Stefani's voice....I'd have to say that I prefer No Doubt.

  36. Ah, one that I know both songs already!

    Too blurry eyed from doing Time Machine tonight to read a lot of comments, so here's the vote: Talk Talk. Feel more of the emotion there.

    I once knew a stripper whose signature "song" was Just A Girl. Nothing to do with anything, just a fun memory.

  37. Mike-- Vote noted.

    Tammy-- Always more to do.

    Lori-- Juggling act is the metaphor for life.

    Donna -- I'd been wondering where you went. Keep me posted on the new blog.

    Eva -- That's kind of what I did but in a lot more words.

    CW--And was the stripper really a female? I hope so.


  38. I really expected to like Talk Talk's version better, but in the end No Doubt's version was better, and not just because Gwen Stefani is gorgeous. There wasn't that "Phil Spector Wall O' Sound" element in No Doubt's version.

    I was called for jury duty once. Almost got involved in a trial, but they eliminated everyone who was a customer of State Farm, because they were one of the defendants. After that they just told me to call in every day, and by Wednesday they excused me from any further service. Oh well.

  39. No matter how early I get up or how late I stay up, there is never enough time to do all that I want to do. And as I grow older, the hands on the clock (metaphor in this digital age) spin rather than tick.

    Talk Talk gets my vote on this one.

  40. Choices, choices, every day choices. At least I have a choice. Some people don't. :)
    Have a great weekend.

  41. I've only been called for jury duty once so far, and sneakily got out of it by wearing my walking-boot there to look worse-off than I really was. In fairness, I really did still wear my walking-boot for help with walking at that time, but I didn't need to wear it at all waking hours anymore. It turned out the case was about a car accident, so I was dismissed anyway, under the assumption I might judge the injured couple more favorably than whoever they were up against.

  42. I've been retired for about five years and I swear, I had more time when I worked. I had a great job that allowed me to work independently, with no set schedule. Maybe I should go back to work! NOT!

    I'm sure it is probably too late to vote, but here is my choice anyway.
    I like both, but prefer the Talk Talk version.

  43. John-- If the prospective juror can come up with something that make them be perceived to be prejudiced in the case then they are usually out. So far I've always thought of something.

    C.Lee -- Strange how that seems to work.

    Beverly-- So true. Sometimes it's nice to have a choice made for us, but it's good to be in control.

    Carrie-Anne-- A lot of people get dismissed for things like that.

    Pat-- I'm the same way. I used to have a job that often kept me at work for 10 or more hours and I seemed to be able to do everything I wanted to do. Granted I wasn't blogging back then, but still there were a lot of personal things I could do during work hours if we weren't in a busy season. I don't really want to go back to a job like that, but I need to take better control of my time.


  44. Hope all went well with jury duty. I like Gwen Stefani's version better. It has more sizzle.


  45. Julie -- I got out of serving, but I was there for 2 days as they screened those of us in the pool. It would have been 8 to 10 days at least according to the judge so I was glad to have been dismissed.


  46. You seem to have some regret for not writing your book. I feel I have a book somewhere in me, but keep making excuses like I'm too busy. Maybe you just have to do it! As for the Battle of the Bands? I love Gwen and No Doubt, but I choose Talk Talk. Growing up in the 80's, those tunes are in my blood. Plus the Talk version tugs at my emotions more than Gwen's sultry version.

  47. Buck-- You're right. Regret is part of it as well as disappoint? anger? that I don't light a fire and keep it burning until the stew is done. So glad to see you here today as tomorrow I am featuring you in an "Ask Arlee" episode.


  48. It's true. There are all kinds of pulls on us that take our control away.


Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.