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

Monday, December 31, 2007

A Wide River to Cross...

A wise man once said that an artist should never feel as though they've arrived somewhere, that they should be constantly searching for new ways to express themselves. I'm certainly no artist, but I think this idea holds true in life as well. It's good to be content, but not complacent.

Gramps was always learning something. In the end, I think he was learning what it was like to be completely dependent on others. I wonder what he learned about himself & others through that.

Me, I'm going to try & read War & Peace in 2008. I'm gonna pick the bike back up this year, & I'm going to try to hike some new trails. I also want to learn how to be a little more handy with fixing things. I'm also going to try & figure out how to be a husband. I'll let you know how I do.

I had a friend, once, who would always say the toast "May the best of your past be the worst of your futures." I don't think that's very realistic, but it's a good sentiment. Anyone got a good toast in it's place?

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Cliquot-Beirut, The Flying Club Cup

Ain't Talkin'-Bob Dylan, New York City, 2006

Wide River to Cross-Levon Helm, Dirt Farmer

The Ship's Song-Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Abattoir Blues Tour 2004

Reservations-Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Happy 2007, friends...


Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmastime in the city...

Merry Christmas, friends.

The winter storm last night makes it seem all the more useless to go to work today. We're open until 12:00 today for anyone wanting to do any last minute Christmas paint shopping. I'm hoping for no customers so I don't have to take that long drive downtown to drop off the night deposit. If I do, though, I'll get to see scenic downtown Holland. I'm hoping to do a little bit of deskwork, drink alot of coffee & perhaps watch some Muppet Movies.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

A Great & Mighty Wonder-hymn

On Jordan's Bank the Baptist Cries-hymn

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear-hymn

Oh Come All Ye Faithful-hymn

The First Noel-hymn

Be merry, friends...


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Repeat the hymn again!

Welcome, friends, to the Talkin' Gibberish Blues Christmas extravaganza...

Have you ever heard that song, We Both Go Down Together? Well, that's how it goes sometimes. Sometimes you think you just can't go wrong, you are on top of the world. I sold lots of paint today & got a ton of stuff done. Everybody at work did what they were supposed to. I left work in good spirits about what I had accomplished & was excited about the weekend to come. I got home & my mood quickly changed. Why, you ask?

Well, the tree had fallen over. I'd heard of it happening to other people, but I never thought it would happen to me. You just can't let a fallen tree get you down, back up she goes, a little spot chomp to clean the carpet & some potato soup & I'm back in business.

As most of you know, I'm a sucker for a Christmas movie or a song. My favorites are usually the Christian songs, Oh Come All Ye Faithful, On Jordan's Bank the Baptist Cries, & of course my all time favorite, Lo! How a Rose E'er Blooming. I haven't heard it in church in a few years, but here's hoping. Here's Sufjan Steven's version, I posted it last year, but here it is again.

new Sufjan Stevens - Songs For Christmas - mp3s at noise for toaster

There's just something about that song that reminds me of Oma singing in her sweet, high pitched voice on Christmas morning. The Schroeder family is known for being loud singers, each voice is quite distinct. Opa is particularly good at belting out Joy to the World & Oh Come All Ye Faithful. Of course, I can still remember when my dad would be at late service after we'd already gone to early service & being able to hear him outside of the church. Sing it loud & sing it strong & let the echo decide who was right or wrong.

When it comes to secular songs, I like to stick to the classics, Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Sinatra, Mel Torme, & of course Judy Garland. Judy Garland's Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas is so filled with melancholy & sadness & a little bit of bittersweet joy you can't help but love it. I say this with my masculinity firmly intact that I can't help but think of Brother Dan in Iraq hearing a song like this. Here's to you, old friend. Next year we'll be celebrating Christmas with Carl in grand fashion.

I'm also a sucker for Christmas movies. The ones that feature Santa Claus I can do without. Again, you can't go wrong with the classics. I love the scene from White Christmas when they are singing about snow. I can't ever imagine being on a train & singing about anything, but if I did, it'd probably be about snow. I'm going to see if I can talk Christie into sitting through It's a Wonderful Life this weekend. "Merry Christmas to YOU, in JAIL!".

This scene is no match for Heidi's clip of Quinn's Christmas program performance, but it's not too bad.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Oh Holy Night-Nat King Cole

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas-Judy Garland

My Right Versus Yours-The New Pornographers, Challengers

Train in Vain-the Clash

Christmas in Prison-John Prine

Let your hearts be light, friends...


Monday, December 10, 2007

Wintertime is comin', the windows are filled with frost...

Settle in, friends, winter is here. If winter had a musical form, it'd be the blues. The only way out of the cold or out of the blues is to revel in it, to embrace it & live in it. Early winter is one of my favorite seasons. Personally, I'm hoping for one of those winters with no thaw, where the snow is here for the duration. What's that book where the guy takes the sled down a dangerous hill? The description of winter is spot on. It's going to bug me 'til I remember.

The beauty of winter is the warming up. How can you possibly experience warmth unless you've been out in the cold? Also, I don't remember winter being so cold when I was a kid. I don't think the weather is getting colder, I just think I was more excited to be playing outside in the snow. You know your having fun if it's below freezing, there's snow on the ground & your sweating inside your coat. Whenever I remember cutting wood with my old man & Opa, I don't remember being cold. One of these days I want to take up snowshoeing. Who's with me?

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Each Coming Night-Iron & Wine, Our Endless Numbered Days

Sodom, South Georgia-Iron & Wine, Our Endless Numbered Days

No Man's Land-Sufjan Stevens, the Avalanche

Up in the highest of heights
O'Hara blinks and fights
This land is yours; this land is mine.
I see the Captain in red,
And Cairo at his head.
This land is yours; this land is mine.

The lightning over the park,
The waters--brash and dark
We take a swim; we take a swim.
I never meant to escape
The carpet and the trade
This land is yours; this land is mine.

And when I make up my mind
I change it all the time
I take it back; I take it back.
The numbers over the dam,
Jo Davies and the band,
I count them out; I count them out.

There was a car in the bay
By the boat that swept and swayed
Whoever you are in the light
In the water that we made
I'm counting it out
I'm counting it out
I'm working it out inside
I'm counting it out
From the floor

The ferry hatches Moline
Panola Beauty Queen
She takes a bow; she takes a bow.
In Charles, we climb the hill
And Danville window sill
I take it back; I take it back.
My sister she counts the bars,
The Macon county cars,
She takes a bow; she takes a bow.

The Mississippi amends
The Carver and the bends
This land is yours; this land is mine.
My brother punches my ear.
The injured ivory deer
I call my dad; I call my dad.
We skip inside of the store
The Mason winter door
This land is yours; this land is mine.

There was a car in the bay
By the boat that swept and swayed
Whoever you are in the light
In the water that we made
I'm holding your hand by the shore
With our collars pulled up tight
I'm counting it out
I'm counting it out
I'm working it out inside
I'm counting it out

(This land is not your land
For the right hand takes what it can,
Ransacks with the mad man.
For this land is not yours or mine to have.
This land was made for the good of itself.)

Summer Days-Bob Dylan, Fairfax, VA 2002

Charlie Sexton's last stand resulted in the finest version of this song I've heard.

I'll Remember You-Bob Dylan, Fairfax, VA 2002

Happy Winter, friends...


Thursday, December 06, 2007

let me see the colts, that will run next year...

I took this picture & I'm quite proud of it.

I've been a political junkie lately, & I'm not really too proud of it. Maybe it's because there's not much on television between the hours of 8 & 9 when I typically watch. People watch this election garbage like it's sport, myself included. I switch between CNN, MSNBC & Fox News. They're all pretty transparent, one look & you can easily tell whose side each one is on.

They were talking about Mitt Romney's speech about faith today. This business about politics & faith annoys me to no end. Perhaps I'm a bit cynical, but I don't really want to know about a politician's faith. Maybe I'd like to know about it after they are elected or after their term is over. This is a time, I think, when actions are much, much louder than words, kind of like that song "they'll know we are Christians by our love". I wish I could take people at their word, but I can't help but think that people use their faith for political gain as a child would use a friend to get to their toys.

Enough of my soap box.

In honor of my beautiful bride to be, a song:

I wanted to post Cosmia by Joanna Newsom, but I figured that wouldn't be too nice.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Let Me See the Colts-Smog, A River Ain't Too Much To Love

Cosmia-Joanna Newsom, Y's

Splendid Isolation-Warren Zevon

I Just Don't Know What to do with Myself-The White Stripes, Elephant

Strange Fruit-Billie Holiday

Happy Thursday, friends. Don't follow leaders & watch the parking meters...


Monday, December 03, 2007

This be the Verse

I brought back an old tradition this morning. I like traditions, old & new. I used to print out a different poem & a different lyrics to a song every month & put them on the pegboard that hangs over my desk. For whatever reason, when I lived only a couple of minutes from work I quit the tradition. These days, I could stand to make my office a little bit more like home since I seem to be there quite a bit. It gives me something to read to keep me sane while I'm stuck on the phone for a lengthy period of time. I'm sure everybody that sees these thinks I'm a freak, but who cares what they think anyway?

For My Contemporaries

How time reverses
The proud in heart!
I now make verses
Who aimed at art.

But I sleep well.
Ambitious boys
Whose big lines swell
With spiritual noise,

Despise me not,
And be not queasy
To praise somewhat:
Verse is not easy.

But rage who will.
Time that procured me
Good sense & skill
Of madness cured me.

J.V. Cunningham, 1942

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Dark Eyes-Iron & Wine, I'm Not There Soundtrack

The Trapeze Swinger-Iron & Wine

The Man Who Sold the World-Nirvana, MTV Unplugged

No Excuses-Alice in Chains, MTV Unplugged

Alot of the music that came from the 90's sounds dated to me, especially what they used to call grunge, but two albums that never sound dated two me are Alice in Chains unplugged & Nirvana Unplugged from back when MTV actually played some music. Matt Schonschack & I wore this album out riding down to Kentucky.

Of the Father's Love Begotten-some unknown choir on Hope college radio...

Happy Monday, friends...


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About Me

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