Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lunacy - Tuesday Tune, vol 102

For many lunar moons now, I've positioned Mr. Ludwig van Beethoven atop my list of favorite all-time composers.  There are many reasons for this.  First, Beethoven is a tweener.  He was born at the tail-end of the Classical period, and subsequently paved a golden-brick-road for the up-and-uproarious Romantic era.  He wasn't Classical.  And he wasn't Romantic. This made Beethoven in between periods and thus a tweener.

I, too, am a tweener because I feel as if I'm perpetually in between classifications of all types and walks.  I like Beethoven bunches because we're both tweeners.  But that's not all.  I dig his tunes Major and Minor.  Beethoven's masterpieces have a dark quality – one that teeters the edge of implosion.  This speaks to me, for I too have some dark qualities (like eyes 'n hair 'n humor.)  I also teeter the edge of implosion. (Why do you think I run?  I'm preventing a teetering implosion.)

Mozart is too happy (this ain't kindergarten), Strauss too waltzy (unless you're Andre Rieu), Bach too rigid (imply: predictable), Chopin too amorous (makes me blush), and Liszt (with his fifteen-inch phalanges) has too many notes.  But Beethoven?  Beethoven speaks to me.  Beethoven knows my language.  Beethoven knows how I feel.

(For the record, I adore all of the above mentioned composers.  They just aren't as Bad A as Beethoven.)

This weekend I watched a movie about Beethoven and discovered yet another reason for my prolonged attraction.  Beethoven was bat-shit crazy.  Nuts, I say, nuts.  Prone to manic episodes of dramatic highs 'n lows.

Dearest, beloved Luie?  I'm bat-shit crazy too!  Cheers.

Being as I'm happy to admit that I'm crazy in the likes of Beethoven-bat-shit-crazy, today's Tuesday Tunes are about lunacy.  And remember, don't waste your weary-time over the self-proclaimed crazy, waste your weary-time on people who think they're sane.

I Almost Lost My Mind Pinetop Perkins
Crazy On You Blitzen Trapper
Mental Eels
Your Head's Too Big The Ditty Bops
Hyper Chondriac Music Muse
Can't Get You Out Of My Head Kylie Minogue
Paranoid Megadeth
Where Is My Mind? Pixies
Mad World Tears for Fears
Paranoiattack The Faint
Cold Brains Beck
Suspicious Minds Fine Young Cannibals
Do-Wacka-Do Roger Miller
Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V) Pink Floyd
Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts VI-IX) Pink Floyd
In My Head No Doubt
Got A Lot On My Head The Cars
Could've Gone Mad Poe
Crazy Tori Amos
All In My Mind Love and Rockets
Manic Monday The Bangles
Partizan / Drives Me Crazy Partizan
Crazy Seal (... we're never gonna survive unless we get a little crazy... )
It's All In Your Mind Beck
Let's Get Crazy White Lion
Map Of Your Head Muse
City Of Delusion Muse
Brain Damage Pink Floyd
Church Of The Poison Mind Culture Club
Crazy James
Manic Depression Jimi Hendrix

Just got bored with the copy 'n paste.  Want more?  Holler.

Crazy On You Heart
My Mind Is Ramblin The Black Keys
I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight U2
Mad Season Matchbox Twenty
Psycho Theme The Ghost Doctors
Paranoid Eyes Pink Floyd
Always On My Mind Elvis Presley
Lost in My Mind The Head and the Heart
You Nearly Lose Your Mind Leon Redbone
You Call It Madness Nat King Cole
Lunatic Fringe Red Rider
I'm Mad Willie Mabon
Trigger Happy Jack (Drive By a Go-Go) Poe
Sir Psycho Sexy Red Hot Chili Peppers
Madder Red Yeasayer
Out Of My Mind Duran Duran
Psycho Therapy The Ramones
Crazy For You Madonna
Leave You Far Behind Lunatic Calm
We're All Mad Here Tom Waits
Crazy Patsy Cline
Space Dementia Muse
Crazy Ones John Mellencamp
You're Crazy Guns N' Roses
Blow Your Mind Langhorne Slim
Teenage Lobotomy The Ramones
MindKilla Gang Gang Dance
I'm Deranged (Edit) David Bowie
I Wanna Go Crazy (Featuring Will.I.Am) [Explicit] David Guetta - Will.I.Am
Rambling On My Mind Robert Johnson
Troubled Mind Kula Shaker
I Think I'm Paranoid Garbage

Luie just might roll over in his grave after listening to the playlist I put together in his honor.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thank You For The Music – Tuesday Tune, vol 101

Um.  It's Thanksgiving-time.   I really don't understand Thanksgiving.  I mean, I understand the part about Abraham Lincoln declaring it a national day of thanksgiving, but I don't really understand the need to overdo the food preparation and consumption.  

My favorite Thanksgiving ever was the one Spouse and I spent eating vedge in Pune, Maharashtra (India.) That was my favorite (even rode a camel!) Since, I get all sorts of weepy around Thanksgiving because I want to go back.  Badly.  Somehow the addition of a cranberry chutney to the traditionally stuffed bird doesn't do the trick.

While I don't understand the mass quantities of food and the stuffer-fest, I do understand the part about spending time with family and the part about being thankful.  That's why today's Tuesday Tunes are all about being Thankful.

I'm thankful for many things.  But guess what's in the top five of my all-time thankful faves?  Music.  That's why today's Tuesday Tune is:

Thank You For The Music - ABBA

And some others:

Gratitude - Oingo Boingo
Thank You - Led Zeppelin
Saving Grace (Theme) - Everlast
Thank the Lord for the Night Time - Neil Diamond
Gratitude - Paul Cardall
Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself Again - Sly & The Family Stone
Messiah, HWV 56 - But Thanks Be To God - Handel
Thank You - Tori Amos
Thank God I'm a Country Boy - John Denver
Gratitude - Earth Wind & Fire
Full Of Grace - Sarah McLachlan
Thank You - The Pipettes
Thanks A Lot - Johnny Cash
Grace - U2
Amazing Grace - Cat Power and Dirty Delta Blues
Thanks for Nothing - Danton Eeprom
(Not really a gratitude song, but it's kickin' and says "thank" in the title)
Thank You - Alanis Morissette
State Of Grace - Seal
I Thank You - ZZ Top
Gratitude - Mika
Thank You - Dido

For the record, WE HAVE SNOW (!), which means the Thanksgiving Boycott will be in full swing this year.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Breaking Ground

I just watched a clip from that new Twilight treat (um, yeah, you caught the sarcasm in the use of that word treat.)  Honestly, I cannot take any more of this Twilight stuff.  It is so cheesy – and not the good kind of cheesy like the Carpenters.  (For the record, The Carpenters are still my favorite kind of cheese.)

I saw the first movie and couldn't cope with the discomfort.  It made me so uncomfortable.  Like, remember in high school?  When you were at a rowdy party and stumbled into the wrong room only to see the wrong stuff?  Then you closed the door and felt icky, 'cause, like the lighting is so not right?  And they're just kids?! Yes, that's the discomfort I'm talking about.

I read the books and they were okay at best.  The movies?  NOT OKAY.  Far from okay.  (But that's just my opinion, you can dig them from here until all infinity and I'd still call you friend – but only if you had other interests.)

The clip I watched just now had some redeeming qualities, however. The uber funny Ellen had a supporting role.  Watch it, then come back to me.

What did you think?  Ellen is funny, yes?  But Belle and Edwardo? Discomfort!  Belle says, "How many days since the Wedding?!" followed by "I'm late!" and he behaves like a know-nuthin'-bout-the-birds-n-bees doofus.  Give me a break Edward, you've been stuck at 19 for a hundred years, obviously you know what she's talking about.


Many years ago, I decided I wouldn't see any more Twilight movies because of the discomfort.

This morning during the run, one of the girls mentioned that she had been invited last minute to see the movie.  (Not at midnight, she had to clarify that she wouldn't go at midnight else she'd miss the morning run at 5:30.)

This friend – you might know her around here as the Olympic Hopedful from this post and this other post – affirmed the above mentioned accusations.

"How was it?" said we.  (Where "it" refers to Breaking Dawn, and Part I no less.)

"Bad"  said she.  (Means Part II will prolly be worse than bad.)

"What about the Cullen house?  Was the house in it?"  said me.

"Oh!  There was lots of the house!"  said she.  (We both have a mad crush on that house.)

"Well then, maybe I'll see it for the house.  That house does something to me.  Forget about Jacob without a shirt.  Show me the house."

So, I guess I'll see the movie.  But only when it comes out on video so that I can fast-forward through all of the icky Edward-and-Bella-constipated-and-staring parts.  Come to think of it, why doesn't someone just come up with a Breaking Ground movie, and build a Cullen replica?  Now there's something I'd go see at midnight.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Intervals are Fun!

When I'm out running, I sometimes do this thing called intervals.  

Intervals?  What are intervals?  I'll tell ya what are intervals.  Intervals are that one thing... where you run (bike, ski, slobber) faster for a designated distance or a designated time, then follow that surge with a recovery of some designated distance or time.  

For example, tomorrow's plan calls for 8 to 10 intervals of one minute with a one minute recovery. This is that one thing... where you run fast for a minute, jog for a minute, then rinse 'n repeat, like, 8 to 10 times.  On another occasion, one might run intervals of 400 meters with 200 meters recovery, or even 400 meters with one minute of recovery.  Alternatively, one could do that one thing... where you run four minutes then recover for 100 meters.  There are many surge/distance/time/recovery/distance/time options.  (Four to be precise.)

This can be tedious.  For one must watch the watch to count minutes, or find a track or other marked territory.  Now that it is dark all of the time, it's beyond tedious because the watch cannot be seen easily. (Unless you're a bat or vampire, in which case you prolly have rabies, which means you are rabid and I'm jealous.)

Well folks, that tedium is no longer, for the Rabid has discovered the "interval" feature on her fancy Garmin 305, which, I'm embarrassed to admit has been owned for, like, three years.  That's three years of tedious intervals that needn't be tedious – if only I would have read the darn manual.

Today is your lucky day because I've taken the time and... uh-hem... know-how to provide you with a tutorial.  This way, no matter what your intervalling action – run, bike, walk, climb, beat-the-kids, or nookie – you'll have the proper tools.

Step 1: Click the Mode button.  Scroll down to "Training" and select enter.


Step 2: Scroll down to "Workouts" and select enter.


Step 3: Scroll down to "Interval" and select enter.


Step 4: View the many options.  All four of them.  Figure out which options you plan to use.


Step 5: Scroll down to your option and select the one you want.  For this exercise, I chose "Time/Rest Time" 'cause that's what I'm doing tomorrow.


Step 6: Chose your options (time or distance for each interval and the number of "reps.")  When the options are chosen, select "done" and you're ready to roll.


The watch will sort of "yell" at you with a fancy beeping when it's time to switch-up your interval.  Run/bike/walk/climb/beat/nookie your first interval until you hear the fancy beep.  Perform your recovery run/bike/walk/climb/beat/nookie until you hear yet another fancy beep.  Rinse 'n repeat x amount of times, where x is a number of your choosing.

See?  Intervals are Fun!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

On the Bench

Each Tuesday, the Yahoos and I drive to the metropolis of Salt Lake City for piano lessons.  Their teachers live in an area called Millcreek.  Millcreek is on the bench.

The Salt Lake Valley is made into a giant bowl by it's surrounding mountains.  The Wasatch mountains border the east and the Oquirrhs create a smaller wall to the west.  The gradual incline of these mountains allow for neighborhoods and whatnot to establish themselves in a stadium-like fashion.  When one refers to the benches of this valley, they're talking about the stuff that climbs the base of the mountains. Millcreek is on the east and sits 500 or so feet above the valley floor.

Millcreek is on the bench.

(Incidentally, if I were a Salt Lake liver, I'd choose the Millcreek area for my liver spot.  It's near a canyon, has a terrific view, is close to Park City, and near perfect.  Near.  It's still a little too populated for my liking.)

Whenever we make our way to the Millcreek bench for lessons, I always look down at the Salt Lake Valley and smile.  When I'm able to take a step back from Salt Lake, or any city, whether it's on a bench or an airplane, I always smile.  I smile at cities.  I see thousands (or millions) of people working together in some way.  I see organization.  I see progress.  I see manners.  I see beauty.  I see art.  I see a civilization made from many decades of cooperation and hard work.  This is what I see when I'm on the bench.

When I'm not on the bench, or, in other words, when I'm not able to step back from a city, I see icky politics.  I see litter.  I see buildings that are either too small or too big.  I see dick-head driving.  I see overcrowded schools.  I see hunger.  I see a government that spends too much money, and in the wrong places.  I see construction that won't end.  I see drugs and violence.  I see people who have no place to sleep.  Basically, when I'm not on the bench, I see what needs improvement; I see a too-much-to-do-and-no-one's-making-progress dimple of doom.

Being a parent is similar.  When you're smack-dab in the middle of the chaos, and not on the bench, all you see is a giant cluster.  This needs work; that needs attention; this needs more love; that needs more discipline; this needs more push; that needs some pull–but only a little bit of pull–oh wait, that was too much pull!  The parental adjustments are never-ending.

I have this – uh-hem – "friend."  She's a real piece of work, I tell you, a mess because she won't let things be a mess.  This "friend" just cannot get up on the bench.  She's always in the middle with a fiddle.  Criticizing how she did this and worrying about how she did that.  She even uses that "F" word – "failure" in conjunction with, "I'm a."  Like, often.  Sometimes I feel like pulling that girl aside and screaming a Beatle-esque "Let it be...! Bitch...!"  (Or maybe an "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey....!  Bitch...!")

For example, this – uh-hem – "friend" really enjoys music, comes from a family of musicians (although she herself is not a musician,) and has a couple of boys who play the piano.  This "friend" unearthed the country-side in a frenzied search for the perfect teachers; left few stones unturned.  When at last the perfect teachers were found, she spent countless hours practicing with her two boys – correcting and adjusting, fidgiting and criticizing.

The perfect teachers need a perfect practice.  This will lead to the perfect lesson.  That was her thinking.

As you can imagine, because, like, duh – you're out there on the bench – things got frustrating for all parties involved.  Practice-makes-perfect was making everyone pissy.  It all came to a head when my "friend" was in the Millcreek area last week at her boys' lesson.  (And isn't it weird how this friend and I both go to piano lesson on the Millcreek bench?!  Crazy weird!)

At lessons this last Tuesday (yeah, this "friend" also has lessons on Tuesdays, crazy weird again!) my "friend" was forced to get on the bench.  The coach even said so, "YOU!  Friend of Rabid!  On the bench!"

See, all this correcting and criticizing, and the making of things perfect wasn't helping; it was enabling.  Those boys were relying on their mom to correct every last mistake and had therefore lost their own ability to course-correct.  Someone was always there to do their thinking for them.  In some ways their progress was going backwards.

Parenting requires that we walk a fine line – a line that separates guiding and encouraging from enabling.  We all try to guide and help and provide resources.  We all try to make sure that our kids do everything "right."  One day, we might discover that we aren't guiding anymore and that we are doing it all for them.  It happens slowly and maybe we won't see it happen.  Hopefully, before it's not too late, we might discover the enablement and make some adjustments.

This discovery of guidance-gone-awry happened to my "friend."  She sat there in lessons, right in the middle, and not on the bench, thinking she was working hard and working smart, only to discover that her efforts were hindering, not helping.

So what does this "friend" do?  After she discovers that she's right in the middle enabling, and needs to get on the bench?  She jumps back in the middle again, and facilitates the ritual of adjusting and worrying.  This is wrong, that is bad, this needs help, blah, blah, blah, in ad nauseum.

If only this "friend" could step back and put herself on the bench, she would see progress. And organization.  And manners.  And hard work.  Basically, she'd see that everything is just fine.

So get on the bench...!  And let it be...!  Bitch...!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Happy Trails - Tuesday Tune, vol 100

For the Tuesday Tune, in its hundredth running, I was hoping to do something special.  I racked both my brains and all of itunes for some help with the 100th Tuesday Tune.  Received nothing.  Throwing you all a few songs with "100" or "hundred" in the title was just too easy.

In my short life – eleven years shy of a half century – I've learned that the more you force something (like ideas, creativity, or Spouse) the less you get.  I decided to lay low on the Tuesday Tune until an idea of centurion quality slapped me silly.

That happened today.  My friend Tina posted it on Facebook.  Today, November 8th 2011, election day*, would be the 100th birthday of the one and only Roy Rogers.  And that's why the 100th Tuesday Tune is:

Happy Trails – Roy Rogers

So there you go.  Happy Trails to you!  And remember "It's the way you ride the trail that counts" and "Just sing a song [to] bring the sunny weather."

*FYI, we've already had a Tuesday Tune about voting.  Click there if you're interested.  And you might be interested because it displays my formula for voting.