This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

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.

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Friday, October 22, 2021

Over the Moon ( #BOTB Results )

 

Time for my obligatory results post.  Always get some visits, but usually not many comments.  So by all means comment if you feel compelled to do so.  But no matter what it's time for...


Battle of the Bands Results


       My recent Battle was a three way with versions of "The Killing Moon" by Echo and the Bunnymen as performed by Grant Lee Phillips, The Quakes, and George Gaudy.  Too bad there weren't several more votes as it looks like this Battle might have been a close race.

     As for me I go with Grant Lee Phillips who captured the mood of the song best.  I thought both of the other versions had a lot of merit and were very enjoyable to hear, but they seemed to be more like novelty versions in the end.   I personally liked this Battle a lot.



Final Vote Tally

Grant-Lee Phillps       5 votes

The Quakes                 2 votes

George Gaudy             1 votes



Next Battle on Monday November 1st

          What can I say other than that?  How about have a great Halloween!








Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Weekly Song Challenge for Week 42

 Since I've done a lot of music posts on this blog I thought I'd join in on a music Challenge that's been going on for a while now.  Don't forget that you can still vote on my current Battle of the Bands as well...



      This ongoing Challenge comes from Mary at Jingle Jangle Jungle.   She provides the categories of the week.  Here's what we've got for this week:


October 20 - Week 42

A Song with a Girl’s Name in the Title

A Song with the word Under in the Title

A Song with Cry in the Title


And here are the songs I came up with coming from three artists that I enjoy...

    

Bruce Cockburn    "Peggy's Kitchen Wall"   (1984)




The Church   "Under the Milky Way"  (1988)






Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young   "You Don't Have to Cry"  (1970)







               What are some choices you might have made?   Have you voted on my Battle of the Bands yet? 












Friday, October 15, 2021

The Killing Moon (#BOTB)

    Halloween is coming!   Again...  Get your candy bucket filled in preparation for all of the masked children coming your way.  Or maybe for a more novel idea how about no masks this Halloween.  And I mean no masks whatsoever...


Triskaidekaphobia

        Recently this blog passed its thirteenth blogiversary having started on September 20th of 2009.  That seems like a lot of water under the bridge or, more appropriately, words off of my keyboard--and I guess it is.

        In recent years words seem to be getting fewer.  The posts have gotten less frequent.  And yet  I persist into my thirteenth year of blogging. After the past two very weird and annoying years the idea of a thirteenth year seems like a bit of an ominous thing.  But not being particularly superstitious I'm not overly concerned.  I'm just hoping this upcoming thirteenth year of blogging will bring at least a few quality posts and a decent A to Z April.  For those who don't get that last reference I'm talking about the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.  I imagine I'll be returning for this blogging challenge.  In fact I've been mapping out my theme already.  But you'll have to wait for March to hear what that will be.

       As for now, one of the big things for many of us is Halloween.  In my case I think this deserves a mention since thirteen years ago this blog started out as a Halloween blog.  Blogging about all things Halloween and related was my original intent.  Thankfully I went off course in that mission as I don't know that I could have comfortably sustained that many years blogging about Halloween and the like.  

        Yes, my blogging has been fairly lucky I think.  Went off on some interesting and occasionally weird tangents, but hopefully I've kept readers interested for the most part.  So I'm having expectations of another at least okay year of blogging in this thirteenth year.  I have no fear of the number 13, but maybe I should fear my frequent lack of initiative.   Forget the COVID vaccine--what I need is a healthy injection of ambition.   I'm likely not the only one.

       But let's get on with the Halloween spirit with a kind of spooky sounding song title for this round 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 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.



The Killing Moon

       The song "The Killing Moon" was originally recorded by the English band Echo & the Bunnymen,  appearing in 1984 on their album Ocean Rain.  The song is the band's most notable song--one of their few that made to the hit charts.

        The song's attributed writer  Ian McCulloch  gives this account of how the song came to him: 
"I love (the song) all the more because I didn’t pore over it for days on end. One morning, I just sat bolt upright in bed with this line in my head: 'Fate up against your will. Through the thick and thin. He will wait until you give yourself to him.' You don’t dream things like that and remember them. That’s why I’ve always half credited the lyric to God. It’s never happened before or since."
        Whatever the case may be, I like this song a lot and taking into account all of the covers that have been done and the uses of the song in film and television, a lot of others must agree.  There are so many cover versions to be found on YouTube that it made it a little difficult to come up with just two challengers.  So I've opted for three quite different versions.  Hope you enjoy...



Grant Lee Phillips    "The Killing Moon"   (2006)







The Quakes   "The Killing Moon"   (2001)








George Gaudy  "The Killing Moon"   (2011)








Time to Vote!
        
         You don't have to kill yourself or go over the moon to play along in this Battle of the Bands.  I hope you'll at least give the versions a listen to discern your favorite.   Which version do you prefer?   Hopefully you have an opinion of some kind.  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

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 




Winner of this Battle Announced on Friday October 22nd
 
           Have fun with this Battle and please do vote.  I'll have a results post despite the fact that those posts don't get many comments and comparatively few visitors.  But that's okay.  Gotta announce the winners, right?

          Are you superstitious about the number 13?   Did your blog start out as something different than where it is now?  How many years have you been blogging?














Friday, October 8, 2021

Time for Some Results! ( #BOTB Results )

 



         Is it Friday already?   How'd that happen?!


Battle of the Bands Results

          I'm late according to my usual schedule, but I'm still reporting my results on Friday like I said I was going to do.  In the interest of brevity I'll just give you the results of my most recent Battle of the Bands which saw the duo of Kevin Costner/Amy Grant go up against Astrud Gilberto and son with versions of the song "You Didn't Have to Be So Nice".  

         This was a much closer outcome than I had expected.  I was sure that at least a few voters would go for the sweet duet of mother and son because I knew that there were some solid Gilberto fans out there.  However I didn't expect her version to do so well.

         I like both versions, but my preference is with the Costner/Grant pairing.  My vote brought the outcome closer to a tie, but the "girl from Ipanema" captured the most hearts.


Final Vote Tally

Kevin Costner/Amy Grant      7 votes

Astrud Gilberto & Son            8 votes


Next Battle on October 15th!





Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Why Would I Want to Do That? ( #IWSG )

 

      Before I begin the order of this day, let me express my gratitude to all of you who have subscribed to my granddaughter Marley Lego's YouTube channel.  We didn't get her to 100 by her birthday, but she was close.   And now she's at 100!   

       If you haven't subscribed yet then rush on over to Marley Lego's YouTube channel right now and subscribe.  This busy 13 year old is showing a lot of ambition in her musical pursuits and can always use encouragement as well as fans.  And please share with others!  Now let's aim for 1000 subscribers!

      Here's the latest video she's posted:

 


       And now let's move on to...


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 October 6 posting of the IWSG are Jemima Pett, J Lenni Dorner, Cathrina Constantine, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, and Mary Aalgaard!



October 6 question - In your writing, where do you draw the line, with either topics or language?


          The last time I attempted National Novel Writing Month was in 2011.  My story idea ironically was about a pandemic.  It was very dark and evil and it didn't take me long to back away from the idea and just shelve the project.  That was about the time when I decided to avoid writing about any such topics.

          Since I was a kid I've loved horror and sci-fi genres--the scarier, the better.  These days, while there is still much that is interesting, so much has gone beyond the pale in my view.  I avoid many horror films these days because they just don't sit right with me.  I'd prefer to be elevated rather than cast into a pit of dark introspection and fear.  

         Don't let me mislead you because I do still watch and read some rather dark stuff.  Just not like I used to.  What I have been avoiding though is the consideration of writing my own dark works of fiction.  It's just not the place where I want my thoughts to dwell these days.  Especially in our current times.  

        Likewise this would apply to the use of profanity in my writing.  In my everyday speech I've never been one to use profanity other than in extreme circumstances of mishap or anger and I try to stay measured in those times as well.  It's not that I'm a prude or a holier-than-thou type, but profanity was never part of my upbringing and I never really heard much of this type of language until the 70's when it became more commonplace in movies.  Profane language still seems a bit alien to me from my own speaking perspective and it makes me cringe a bit when I hear it.

          Years ago during an early Blogging from A to Z April Challenge I got into a protracted debate with some other bloggers about the subject of profanity or coarse language in blog posts.   If the language in a blogger's post gets a bit too much for me and there's not enough return in value in reading the post then I will tend not to read as often if ever again.  And as for me writing in that type of language  is like me saying,  "I'm hip. I'm cool. And I can talk like a fool." 

        However, I occasionally use a profanity for greater impact, but I try to avoid any gratuitous use even if it is a matter of trying to achieve more "realism." Using expletives as my main adjectives, verbs, or nouns is not my thing.

        I'm sure many of you have similar or thoughts otherwise.  You might have even commented in my post years ago.  If you have any thoughts you like to share about this then bring them up in the comments.


     Also:  Visit my Battle of the Bands and cast your vote!





    

         









Friday, October 1, 2021

You Didn't Have to Be So Nice ( #BOTB )

It's nice to be nice and it's nice when others are nice to us.  Wouldn't it be nice if everyone would be more nice?   Thanks to all of you who are nice...

          In my most recent posts I requested that my readers check out the YouTube page of my granddaughter Marley Lego.  I was trying to help her reach 100 subscribers and she's almost there (94 as of writing this post).  I know she'll get there, but I'd like to see her start on her next 100.

          If you haven't subscribed to her channel yet then it would be nice if you would support this young artist who at age 13 is showing a lot of musical ambition.  She's been playing and singing now for several years and I think she shows a lot of potential in her talents as well as her persona as an entertainer.  

         If you want to do something nice then subscribe to Marley's channel (it's free to subscribe).  And if you already did, you didn't have to be so nice but Marley appreciates the support.

         And that sounds like a cue for my next...

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 Didn't Have to Be So Nice

         This song was first released in 1965 by the group The Lovin' Spoonful.   It reached number 10 on the Billboard chart and was subsequently covered by a number of artists.  Here are a couple of the more well known covers...




Amy Grant & Kevin Costner "You Didn't Have To Be So Nice" (1997)

        From the soundtrack of the dystopian movie The Postman comes a version of the Spoonful song as performed by Christian singer Amy Grant and the star of the film Kevin Costner...






Astrud Gilberto  "You Didn't Have to Be So Nice"  (1966)

        You might remember Astrud as the singer of the sixties hit "Girl from Ipanema" which she recorded with Stan Getz.   Here she pairs up with her young son to sing her sugar sweet version of "You Didn't Have to Be So Nice". ..






Time to Vote!
        
         Hope you'll be nice and please join in and play along in this Battle of the Bands.  I hope you'll at least give the versions a listen to discern your favorite.   Which version do you prefer?   Hopefully you have an opinion of some kind.  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

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 




Winner of this Battle Announced on Friday October 8th

          On Wednesday October 6th I'll be posting my entry for Insecure Writer's Support Group.  Do stop in for that one.  Then I'll have my results post a couple days later.  Have a great weekend! 



Wednesday, September 22, 2021

This Bird Has Sung ( #BOTB Results )

 

           The votes are tallied and the results are in!  But first a thank you is in order...

Thanks!

        My thanks to all who tried to get my granddaughter to the 100 subscriber mark by her birthday last Friday.  She got closer, but still not quite there.  At last count I saw 87 subscribers so she's getting closer to that magic number.

       I can remember what it was like getting my first 100 followers for my blog.  It seemed like such a struggle reaching that goal.  I made a diligent effort trying to add new followers.  Fortunately the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge increased the numbers greatly.  Now I pay little attention to my follower count.  I actually don't think it changes much.

        If you haven't subscribed to Marley's YouTube channel you can check it out here...  Feel free to share with those who enjoy hearing up and coming artists.  Maybe one day you can say you knew her when.

        And now for what happened in my most recent Battle...     


Battle of the Bands Results



Final Vote Tally

Josh Turner Guitar    10 votes

Skyy Theater               2 votes

      With my vote for Josh Turner Guitar the victory was very decisive in favor of Josh and his pals.

       I'll be back on October 1st with another Battle of the Bands.






Wednesday, September 15, 2021

And Your Bird Can Sing ( #BOTB )

 

    In my previous post I made a special request to my readers to visit my granddaughter Marley's YouTube page and become a "Subscriber".  If you haven't do so yet then I hope you'll visit her YouTube page and click through the procedure.  I'm trying to help her reach 100 subscribers by her birthday which is this week.  

       Marley sings like a bird and that leads me to my Battle of the Bands installment for this date...


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.


And Your Bird Can Sing

         This song was always one of my favorite Beatles tunes.  Maybe it's not as well known as some of their other tunes, but I think it's just as good if not better than most.  And it references "bird".  Another reason for me to take notice.

       Anyway, I've found two similarly presented videos of groups covering this Beatles song.  From the videos the groups seem to be out standing in their fields--or sitting or whatever.  Let us know whose version you like best...


Josh Turner Guitar   "And Your Bird Can Sing"   (2020)

 

Skyy Theater  "And Your Bird Can Sing"  (2016)






Time to Vote!
        
         This Battle is one for the Bird.    Please join in and play along in this Battle of the Bands.  I hope you'll at least give the versions a listen to discern your favorite.   Which version do you prefer?   Hopefully you have an opinion of some kind.  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

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 




Winner of this Battle Announced on Wednesday September 22nd

        Vote on the Battle and subscribe to Marley Lego's YouTube channel.  Come back to hear the results.











Monday, September 13, 2021

A Big Favor Please

 


        I'll officially be returning to my blog on Wednesday September 15 with a new Battle of the Bands post, but today I'm here to ask a favor of you who follow my blog. 

       As some of you might know, I've been taking a blogging break for over a month now while I was taking a vacation to visit family back east.  It was a fantastic trip and I hated to see it end, but as all good things seem to do my vacation has ended.  I've been home for over two weeks now and have been trying to recuperate during that time.  The trip though fun was rather draining physically and mentally.  Getting back on my blog might be a bit tough for me.  I guess I was struggling before the trip though and going on vacation probably has little to do with having much enthusiasm for blogging.

      Anyway, I'm here today to ask a favor--a big favor.

      My oldest granddaughter, Marley Lego, has been singing since she was a baby and over the past several years has taken up a number of instruments.  She's becoming a rather accomplished musician who sings solo gigs as well as playing marimba in the high school band and singing and playing in various rock bands.  She's still in middle school, but recognizing her musical abilities, her music teacher convinced her to join the high school band which she has been doing for over a year now.

       All my New Jersey grandkids came to Tennessee with their parents during our vacation.  We stayed in a wonderful camping resort called Little Arrow in Townsend TN.  Nightly Marley would perform for us as we gathered round the campfire (so to speak) and dazzle us with her singing and playing talents.  I absolutely loved having that time with Marley and all the other kids.

        Something Marley failed to mention to me while I was with her is that she has a YouTube channel with 53 videos so far.  Fortunately, her mother (my youngest daughter) posted one of the videos on Facebook which alerted me to the channel.  Marley started the channel back at the beginning of this year and for now she looks to be experimenting with the medium, but her videos provide a look at some of her talent as well as her fun quirky personality. 

         If she keeps up what she's been doing I can see a lot of potential in her future.  For now though what she needs is more exposure and more followers.  Here's where that favor comes in.  I'm asking you to please check out the video sample I'm including in this post.   Listen to it and like it (hopefully you will like it).   Then, for the biggest favor, please "Subscribe" to her channel.  It's free to do so despite the misleading term of "Subscribe".   All you do is click on "Subscribe" and follow the directions.   I've subscribed to many video channels and really it's no big deal other than occasionally getting notified when a new video is posted on the channel.  Otherwise, no obligations.

        And here's the other part of this favor:   Friday will be Marley's 13th birthday and I'd love to see her reach 100 subscribers by then.   She only needs another 30 or so to reach that goal, so won't you please help her reach it by subscribing and maybe even sharing the video with any of your friends or followers.  Then if you can "Like" at least a few of the videos and maybe leave some encouraging comments you might be an early fan of a future music star!

        Here's one of her videos. Hope you enjoy it!





             Don't forget to "Subscribe" to the channel.   Help Marley achieve her musical dreams!   Thanks to all of you!





Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Summer Reading Perhaps? ( #IWSG )

 

Didn't think my quirky computer would let me post this month, but just at the last minute it decided to come back to life.  I think it's playing around with me....


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 August 4 posting of the IWSG are PK Hrezo, Cathrina Constantine, PJ Colando, Kim Lajevardi, and Sandra Cox!



August 4 question - What is your favorite writing craft book? Think of a book that every time you read it you learn something or you are inspired to write or try the new technique. And why?


          I have so many good writing craft books that I've read and probably more that I haven't. It's been years since I read a writing book and that was Ray Bradbury's Zen in the Art of Writing.  I seem to recall enjoying it, but now that I've got this one on my mind I'm going to add it to the books I'll be taking with me on our upcoming summer cross country road trip.

        Yes, I'm going to take a chance on travel in these times of COVID stupidity.  I hope the rest of the country has more sense about it than my state of California.  I'm looking forward to getting out of L.A. and retreating to something simpler and more peaceful in East Tennessee.

       I can see me now sitting beside the Little River in the Smokey Mountains reading that Ray Bradbury book again.  Maybe I'll learn something new or inspiring.  Maybe I'll even start writing again.  Mostly though I want to enjoy being with my family.  
  
        Hope you are having a wonderful summer.  Stay safe.  Stay well,  Stay sane.  And avoid the nonsense.  








Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Why Quit When I Can Quit ( #IWSG )

 

      I'm still here, but I'm just not writing or blogging much at the present time.  It's partly due to being busy with other things and partly due to lack of initiative to blog.  Also I've got a big summer trip coming up and this year I don't want to think about being online much during that time.   But I'm here.  Hope you're having a wonderful summer....


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 July 7 posting of the IWSG are Pat Garcia, Victoria Marie Lees, and Louise – Fundy Blue!


July 7 question - What would make you quit writing?



Quit Writing?  What Would I Do That For?

          What would make me quit writing?   Considering my current blog hiatus one might think "Summer"--but no, I'm still writing a little bit.  This is just a break.

            Becoming physically or mentally incapable of writing would likely put an end to my writing, but that would have to be some serious debilitating issue that I hope would never happen.  Along those lines would be any other problem that would permanently divert me from writing, but I'm not sure I want to spend my imagination going down that route.

           As long as I can write then I will write.  I will write something. 

           Hopefully I will return here in August for another IWSG post and write some more.

           Be well and be as happy as you can...


Would you quit writing?






Monday, June 7, 2021

And So I Fly ( #BOTB Results )

 Hello and welcome to my blog.  This is just a short post to announce winners of my Battle of the Bands from last week.  Hope you are having a nice day...


Battle of the Bands Results


        My most recent Battle was between covers of the It's a Beautiful Day's song White Bird.  After all since I'm Arlee Bird and I'm white and I'm gonna fly--in a sense--for the summer, the song seemed like an ironic anthem for me at this point in the life of my blog.  Oh well, whatever.

        The Battle was a face off between The Scones and Vanessa-Mae.  I liked the hippy dippy Scones revue with their long groovy jam of the song, but the flute was just not the violin and the violin is what had attracted me so much to the original version of the song.  Vanessa-Mae had the violin and I liked her updated technopop version of the song.  I'm going with V as in Violin and Vanessa.

        The race ended up pretty well.


Final Vote Tally

The Scones              9 votes

Vanessa-Mae           7 votes


See you when I see you or maybe in my dreams...