everything you ever wanted to know about nothing at all...

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Someone showed me a picture, I just had to laugh, dignity's never been photographed...

Happy Saturday, friends. I'm on vacation, well at least until Wednesday. I figure it would be a good time to take a couple of days off just before I head on down to Holland. I'm not really sure what I'm gonna do, probably not much of anything at all, which is just tops by me. We're gonna meet with the preacher on Monday & maybe I'll tackle the great stripes project of '07. Other than that, I hope to do a whole lot of nothing at all.

This afternoon, however, Christie & I are getting engagement pictures taken. Christie's excited about it & I'm excited for her, but to be honest, I'm not a fan of getting my picture taken. We are going downtown Grand Rapids & were still not sure where the pictures will be taken, the walking bridge right by GVSU will probably be a spot, but other than that, we're gonna rely on the inspiration & the photographer. If nothing else, it'll be fun to walk around downtown Grand Rapids, I haven't been there in a while. Maybe I can drag Christie down to Vertigo to get the new Iron & Wine album.

For your reading pleasure, check out Brother Soldier Dan's blog where he discusses such topics as golf, baseball, the Iraq war, supply & demand, love & theft, music, fine dining, television & censorship, electrical currents, literature, fitness & tips on keeping your lawn green & healthy.

For your viewing & listening pleasure, here's the lovely Jolie Holland singing Mexican Blue...

You're like a saint's song to me
I'll try to sing it pure and easily

You're like a Mexican blue
So bright and clear and pale in the afternoon
I saw you riding on your bike
In a corduroy jacket in the night
Past the hydrangeas that were blooming in the alley
With a galloping dog by your side
When I was hungry you fed me
I don't mean to suggest that I'm like Jesus Christ
Your light overwhelmed me
When I lay beside you sleepless in the night
And when you dreamed my guardian spirits appeared
And the moon stretched out across your little bed
They said they'd started to get worried about me
They were happy we had finally met
We had finally met

A mysterious bird flies away
Seemed to be calling your name
And bounced off the top of a towering pine
And vanished in the drizzling rain
There's a mockingbird behind my house
Who is a magician of the highest degree
And I swear I heard him rip the world apart
And sew it back again with his fiery melody, melody

When you were mad at me I didn't care
And I just loved you all the same
And I waited for the wind to push the hurricane
Out to sea, and the sun could shine again
Oh I don't mean to give you advice
Its just like Delia said, "oh, Jesus Christ"
Just don't get so hight you leave the ground
Everything is so much better when you're around
Just don't float so hight you drift away
Stand tall, with your feet on the ground
I love your songs, I love your sound
Everything is so much better when you're around

When the moon is as clear as an opal
And the amethyst river sings a song
I'll remember all your dreams and the mysteries
You have borne in your crystalline soul
That you sing from your golden throat
That you shine from your sparkling eyes
That you feel from the goddess in your thighs

You're like a saint's song to me
I'll try to sing it pure and easily
You're like a Mexican blue
So bright and clear and pale in the afternoon
In the afternoon

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Adieu False Heart-Jolie Holland, Springtime Can Kill You

Mexican Blue-Jolie Holland, Springtime Can Kill You

It Ain't Me, Babe-Bob Dylan, Tramps 1999

Panties in Your Purse-the Drive By Truckers, Gangstabilly

Mood Indigo-Frank Sinatra, In the Wee Small Hours

Happy Saturday, friends, say cheese...


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Let's Invite Them Over

I'm fascinated by my neighbors. I've met those on both sides of me & they no longer fascinate me. But a few doors down from me, those are the ones that intrigue me. All of the condos in my complex have the exact same layout, some are just switched around. Two of the condos always have lights & a tv or computer on in the front bedroom, the room in my house where I never spend any time in. What are they doing in there? The intrigue will remain because if the trend of the last year & a half continues, I'll never speak to them.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

See That My Grave is Kept Clean-Blind Lemon Jefferson

there's one kind favor I ask of you...

Window-Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine

Cosmia-Joanna Newsom

Dodge-Vic Chesnutt, Drunk

there's so many ghosts out there on these streets...

300 Miles Per Hour Torrential Outpoor Blues-the White Stripes

i'm bringing back ghosts that are no longer there...one things for sure: in that graveyard I'll have the shiniest pair of shoes

Happy Wednesday, neighbors!


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The art of losing isn't hard to master...

You'll get nothing but random news & notes from me today, friends.

I started my first try at horizontal stripes on my bedroom on Sunday, & my biggest fear came true. The paint bled through the tape leaving small little bumps underneath the line instead of a straight line. I figured out a way to fix it, but it was incredibly disappointing. Luckily, I only did one wall, so I'll have to employ a different technique. There's no success like failure, I guess.

I read that Jack White joined Bob Dylan on stage for a couple of shows in Nashville last week. This is incredible news for a huge fan of both artists. The first night, Jack joined in with Bob for the debut of Meet Me in the Morning, an underrated little gem from 1974's Blood on the Tracks. The next night, they debuted Outlaw Blues from Bringing it All Back Home & they played the rarity, One More Cup of Coffee from my favorite Dylan album, Desire. I was there for the first time Jack White played with Bob Dylan when Bob brought him onstage in March 2004 to perform White's song, Ball & a Biscuit. It was the most exciting concert moment I've ever experienced.

Despite the fact that Jack White's band The White Stripes is a duo, there are many parallels to Dylan & White. They both have unconventional voices that many people consider to be nails on a chalkboard. More importantly, both push the envelope of what songwriting can do while using traditional folk & blues music as a base.

One Art

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, & names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

--Even losing you ( the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Elizabeth Bishop, 1976

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Don't Take Everybody to be Your Friend-Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Dry Your Eyes-The Streets

Eyes on the Prize-M. Ward, Post War

To Go Home-M. Ward, Post War

The Picture-Son Volt, The Search

Happy Tuesday, friends, keep your eyes on the prize!


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Strike Another Match, Go Start Anew...

I love that lyric, don't you? I like the idea of starting all over again. It's from the song, It's All Over Now, Baby Blue, one of my favorite songs. Apparently, Joyce Carol Oates loved the song as well, her fantastic short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" is dedicated to & loosely based on the song.

I did my best to strike another match this week, I decided to take another job with my company. Often, I talk about my job like Uncle Leo on Seinfeld brags about Jerry's cousin Jeffrey's job at the Parks Department & for that, I apologize. I don't really deem my job that important in the scheme of things, but it's what I do. Soon, I'll be working in Holland, about a half an hour from me. It was a bittersweet decision to make, really.

First of all, I love the place where I work. The people I work with are like family to me. Anybody here that ol' joke? There's nothing they wouldn't do for me & there's nothing I wouldn't do for them & that's how we go through life, doing nothing for each other. That, of course, isn't the case. We all talk about our lives like they are open books, we're very close. There's no place I've worked for a longer period of time then Grand Haven, & there's no one I've worked with longer then Gloria.

I've been working in Grand Haven for exactly five years. I feel kind of sad that the place I've worked at will now be under some one else's control, & every thing I've worked for will probably change, for the positive & negative. I have a great base of customers, many of whom I'd consider friends & it will be sad not to see them every day. I've always liked the idea of living, working, shopping & going to the church in the same town, & that will no longer be the case. I'll be driving 20-30 minutes everyday to get to work.

On the other hand, I was starting to get bored at work, thinking there was no longer a challenge. I'm going to work at a place that's struggled for the past few years, & I'm excited at the prospect of seeing if I can turn it around. There will be new people, new customers & the old friends will still be right around the corner, it can't be all bad. Here's to old friends & new challenges.

It's All Over Now, Baby Blue

You must leave now, take what you need, you think will last.
But whatever you wish to keep, you better grab it fast.
Yonder stands your orphan with his gun,
Crying like a fire in the sun.
Look out the saints are comin' through
And it's all over now, Baby Blue.

The highway is for gamblers, better use your sense.
Take what you have gathered from coincidence.
The empty-handed painter from your streets
Is drawing crazy patterns on your sheets.
This sky, too, is folding under you
And it's all over now, Baby Blue.

All your seasick sailors, they are rowing home.
All your reindeer armies, are all going home.
The lover who just walked out your door
Has taken all his blankets from the floor.
The carpet, too, is moving under you
And it's all over now, Baby Blue.

Leave your stepping stones behind, something calls for you.
Forget the dead you've left, they will not follow you.
The vagabond who's rapping at your door
Is standing in the clothes that you once wore.
Strike another match, go start anew
And it's all over now, Baby Blue.

Copyright © 1965; renewed 1993 Special Rider Music

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Sing Me Back Home-Merle Haggard

A Change is Gonna Come-Otis Redding

Alimony-Tommy Tucker

It's All Over Now, Baby Blue-Bob Dylan, March 17, 2004

Do Re Mi-Woody Guthrie

Happy Tuesday, friends...


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Am I Making All the Right Moves?

The early reviews are in & the new Josh Ritter album is, as far as I can tell after one listen, fantastic. I stopped by Vertigo after a meeting in Grand Rapids today to pick it up. It's been a while since I've been to the ol' music store. According to Herm, it's been a slow summer for the music business, a shame really.

Anyway, the third song on the album is called Right Moves, "Am I making all the right moves, am I singing you the right blues?". It's a great little song. Ritter has a knack for turning what are seemingly clumsy rhymes into flawless vocal performances. Right Moves is an interesting companion piece to the song Here at the Right Time from his previous album, the Animal Years. It's another song where he's asking somebody if he's made the right decision, if only to reassure himself.

I was listening to this song in my car as I drove past my old house in the valley below. Looking back, that house probably wasn't the smartest investment I've ever made. I loved the old shack, but I think there could've been better houses to buy. Maybe not. I was lucky to sell it for what I did. The new owners have apparently not done a thing with the place & the foliage looks to be quite overgrown. It's nice to see the ornamental grasses I planted still there, though. I wonder if my paint job is still prominent inside.

After that, I went to see Christie at work to remind myself of the best decision I've ever made. Decisions, decisions. Reminds me of that song, "I've got reservations about so many things, but not about you..." Maybe someday I'll pick up an analogy from something other than a silly song, but I don't see it happening anytime soon.

Here at the Right Time by Josh Ritter

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

The Trapeze Swinger-Iron & Wine

Mind's Eye-Josh Ritter, The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter

Kingdom of the Animals-Iron & Wine, Boy with a Coin

Right Moves-Josh Ritter, the Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter

September of My Years-Frank Sinatra

Happy Thursday, friends...


Reservations by Wilco...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tourist towns are a drag sometimes...

"Romulus" from Sufjan Stevens

I went for a walk along the pier this evening, as I like to do. It was a beautiful evening to put on a sweatshirt & the. Things looked quite a bit different from the last time I was there, much less crowded. I know Grand Haven's economy depends on tourism, but I can't help but be selfish & enjoy it much more when the tourists are gone. It's beautiful on a night like this, with fewer people it seems more like home, mostly fishermen, runners & folks walking their dogs, & me. The best part of a walk on the pier is not the walk towards the end, but the walk back with the sunlight going down on the land.

Maybe I just hate crowds. So the next time you come to Grand Haven, make sure it's on a cool night during the week.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Holland-Sufjan Stevens, Michigan

things will end before they start...

Honest With Me-Bob Dylan, Stockholm, 2007

It's a bit strange for someone in his sixties to write the lyrics;

when I left my home the sky split open wide
I never wanted to go back there, I'd rather have died...

I always loved this lyric, & the way he sings it when he's on, his voice mimics the sky splitting open wide...

One By One-Wilco, Mermaid Ave

The Sprout & the Bean-Joanna Newsom, The Milk Eyed Mendor

Dress Up in You-Belle & Sebastian, the Life Pursuit

Happy fall evenings, friends...


Monday, September 10, 2007

Summer Days & Summer Nights are Gone...

Summer Days

First Release
"Love And Theft"
"Love And Theft"
The Best of Bob Dylan
The Best of Bob Dylan
{ RealAudio }
WindowsMedia { 56 }

Summer days, summer nights are gone
Summer days and the summer nights are gone
I know a place where there's still somethin' going on

I got a house on a hill, I got hogs all out on in the mud
I got a house on a hill, I got hogs out lying in the mud
Got a long haired woman, she got royal Indian blood

Everybody get ready - lift up your glasses and sing
Everybody get ready to lift up your glasses and sing
Well, I'm standin' on the table, I'm proposing a toast to the King

Well I'm drivin' in the flats in a Cadillac car
The girls all say, "You're a worn out star"
My pockets are loaded and I'm spending every dime
How can you say you love someone else when you know it's me all the time?

Well, the fog's so thick you can't spy the land
The fog is so thick that you can't even spy the land
What good are you anyway, if you can't stand up to some old businessman?

Wedding bells ringin', the choir is beginning to sing
Yes, the wedding bells are ringing and the choir is beginning to sing
What looks good in the day, at night is another thing

She's looking into my eyes, she's holding my hand
She's looking into my eyes, she's holding my hand
She says, "You can't repeat the past." I say, "You can't? What do you mean, you can't? Of course you can."

Where do you come from? Where do you go?
Sorry that's nothin' you would need to know
Well, my back has been to the wall for so long, it seems like it's stuck
Why don't you break my heart one more time just for good luck

I got eight carburetors, boys I'm using 'em all
Well, I got eight carburetors and boys, I'm using 'em all
I'm short on gas, my motor's starting to stall

My dogs are barking, there must be someone around
My dogs are barking, there must be someone around
I got my hammer ringin', pretty baby, but the nails ain't goin' down

You got something to say, speak or hold your peace
Well, you got something to say, speak now or hold your peace
If it's information you want you can go get it from the police

Politician got on his jogging shoes
He must be running for office, got no time to lose
He been suckin' the blood out of the genius of generosity
You been rolling your eyes - you been teasing me

Standing by God's river, my soul is beginnin' to shake
Standing by God's river, my soul is beginnin' to shake
I'm countin' on you love, to give me a break

Well, I'm leaving in the morning as soon as the dark clouds lift
Yes, I'm leaving in the morning just as soon as the dark clouds lift
Gonna break the roof in - set fire to the place as a parting gift

Summer days, summer nights are gone
Summer days, summer nights are gone
I know a place where there's still somethin' going on

Copyright © 2001 Special Rider Music

Well, not really, but we are getting close. Today was the first day with temps in the fifties, & I for one love it. I have to close the windows, it's getting a bit too cold in here. I'm a wimp when it comes to the heat, I have the air conditioner on when it's consistently over 75 in the house, but I can handle the cold, in fact I embrace the cold. It's gotta be under 64 in the house before I consider turning the heat on. There's something about piling up in a sweatshirt out of necessity, or the few minutes it takes to get warm when getting into bed. There's a clarity in a fall that you can't find in any other season, even on a cloudy day, everything is much clearer, much more colorful.

I like these things, why? 'Cause I'm a Schroeder, that's why. Schroeders are autumn people. We know nothing about boats, water-skiing or fishing in the summer, no we are land faring creatures. But we know all about autumn. It all starts with my mother canning tomatoes, soon after the mum cart will be put out on the ridge & the mums will be taken to the farmers market on Saturday morning. Others will go to the Michigan football game, maybe there will be some leave raking or jumping in leaves or maybe I'll go for a hike in the woods. My parents were both born in the fall, my sister was married, my Oma died, it's the way of things.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Shooting Star-Bob Dylan Zurich, 2003

Summer Days-Bob Dylan Zurich, 2003

Muzzle of Bees-Wilco, A Ghost is Born

Wave-Calexico, Por Vida, A Tribute to Alejandro Escovedo

The Late Greats-Wilco, A Ghost is Born

Happy Monday, friends...


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Grand Haven, Michigan
the sun shines on a dog's ass every now & then...