Thursday, January 29, 2009

the piano bar

"calloused hands stroke the piano keys
notes sadly caress the darkened air
as glasses tinkle and people chatter
eyes brimming with tears as the song remembers
memories, dripping with the iciness of youth
days forgotten and forever cherished
slowly melodically the hands play
aching for the next note, recoiling from it's sound
as candles drip in their own agony
giving, but receiving nothing in return
the chords change, b-flat to a-minor
the lilting of gentle laughter over the din of the crowd
hands glide, effortlessly float with the ache...
of what could have been
leaving behind notes never played"

i wrote this poem a few years ago. let me know what you think.

the painting is called "piano bar" by italian painter alberto sughi

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

in 6 days...

i have a couple different thoughts going through my head as we head toward the inauguration of our 44th president. one can be summed up in the simple word of "excitement". it's the 1st time in my life i am actually excited about our new president. i don't know if you voted for him, or if you agree with him, or if even now you haven't figured that out. but i know i am looking forward to january 20th, 2009 when president-elect barack obama becomes president barack obama.

i wonder where he will lead this country in the next 4 years. i wonder what changes he will bring about that will strengthen our economy. i wonder how his example and leadership will help erase some of the racist mentalities that exist not only here in the states, but internationally. i wonder what kinds of things he and soon-to-be 1st lady michelle obama's daughters will glean from experiencing this unique event. i hope they come out of it as strong world leaders in their own rights.

all of this wondering is laced with a sense of joy. that we may see some new unique things from this young president. this president who not only knows about new technologies, but uses them extremely well.

the other thought i have revolves around feeling conflicted. conflicted in the sense that, although prez-elect obama did succeed, that our country still has a lot of issues it needs to work through. as i type this, nashville is 8 days away from voting on it's "english-only referendum". a referendum, that if approved by voters on january 22, will make it completely legal for all government documents, proceedings, etc to be done in english only. to put it simply, i'm not a fan of this. it's another step toward negating the many cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds that exist in nashville. it's also a referendum that seems to be aimed at the "inconvenience" of the average english-speaker of having to "work through" the non-english portions of documents, etc. the united states exists because people came here from other countries to live and breathe together, to find their dreams. these referendums go against that. and yet we have voted in a president who is the embodiment of all of that, the diversity that this country needs to embrace even more.

the talent pool

"American Idol" is a television show. First and foremost. It's bigger than any contestant. It's glorified karaoke at best."

i was reading Bob Lefsetz' response to last night's "american idol", and that's a line that stuck out for me. i'm sure, if you didn't watch it yourself, you've seen the news bits about the girl in the bikini who popped in and made it to the next round. could she sing? sure, she was ok. she won't make it much further than round 2, though. she's basing too much on her appearance, and i think what the 4 judges on american idol are looking for is more than just looks...they're looking for the complete package. between the talent last night in phoenix, tonight's in kansas city, and the other cities, she's done.

but in a way she's a microcosm of what this show is to many people. it's a way to get (at least) your 15 minutes of fame if you put yourself in the right circumstances. which is what she did. it's a method for people to get attention, and in a very superficial way, validate their existence. i'm sure you've seen some of the reactions from people when simon, paula & the other judges are blatantly honest with some of the contestants over their lack of talent. it's when you see who really are the drama queens and spoiled brats. the impression these people leave is that their entire existence is based on the opinions of these (now) 4 people they have never met before and never will run into again. it's easy for us, on our own, to believe we are better at something than we really are. especially when our family & friends are not honest with us.

"american idol", especially in the early stages, is incredibly entertaining to watch. i feel empathy for the people who are truly trying to sing well and have practiced but are shot down because that "it" factor isn't there. for me, there is nothing more beautiful than a musician who performs with talent and from the heart. it moves me. and i couldn't help but laugh at some of the other people who, it seems, had never really heard themselves sing.

i can't help but think, as we wade through this new era in music where there will not be any true superstars, what some of the contestants think the long-term outlook is for them if they did make it.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

i'm sure you've noticed...

....but our blog looks different. we decided it was time for a change to the look of it. hope you like!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

i'd rather be dutch, wooden shoe?

i'm killing a little time watching "good will hunting", and putzing around on the interwebs utilizing stumbleupon, which brought me to that's the website that gifted me with the following Top 10 List, Dave Letterman-style.


1. You can get arrested for growing plants, but not for smoking them.
2. You can make jokes about the Belgians and still drink their beer.
3. a) You can legally kill yourself, b) You can legally be killed
4. You're exactly like the Germans, except that nobody hates you.
5. You think you are a world power, but everyone else thinks Copenhagen is your capital.
6. You get to insult people and defend yourself by saying it's a national tradition.
7. You can put your finger in a dyke and it will save your country
8. You live in the most densely populated country in Europe, and still you've never seen your neighbours.
9. If the economy is bad, blame the Germans. If a war is started, blame the Germans. If you lose your keys, blame the Germans.
10. Bikes are public property. Locks are a challenge.

in light of the trip julie & i recently took to amsterdam, i found it funny. hope you enjoy, too. oh, and the website above has Top 10 lists for a bunch of other european countries.