Mixed Bag CD Blog-Eddie

NAME: Eddie Mitchell
BLOG NAME: Renaissance Geek
NAME OF CD: Just a Buncha Stuff I Like
NUMBER OF CUTS: 24 (not really); 19 and 5 very short empty spaces
RUNNING TIME: 75:59
COVER ART: Simple but effective
SONG LIST: His post of July 3
SUBSEQUENTLY REVIEWED BY: Gordon on August 24
GENERAL THOUGHTS: Eddie seems to have more 2004 and 2005 tunes than just about anyone. He is really hooked into the quality of the lyrics. His descriptions of the songs on his webpage are wonderfully evocative.
THINGS I PARTICULARLY LOVED: Pretty much the whole first half: The Kaiser Chiefs, Merediths, Rilo Kiley, Brave Combo, Edith Piaf! Also Teen Idols, Stanley Thompson.
ON THE OTHER HAND: I’d have flipped the order a little in the third quarter of the disc: a couple tunes were a little too similarly quiet and blended in my mind sonically, though distinct lyrically. Maybe just switching Gautier and Chambers.
OFFICE FRIENDLY: I suppose some of the topics might be off putting to some (Porno Shop, I Spent My Last Ten Dollars on Birth Control and Beer, e.g.), but they didn’t bother me.
ONLY VAGUELY RELATED: The fact that Eddie recognizes that Emmylou Harris is a goddess is a good thing.

Mixed Bag CD Blog-Kelly

NAME: Kelly Brown
BLOG NAME: The Life of a Wife and Teacher
NAME OF CD: Mrs. LeftyBrown’s Feel Good Mix
NUMBER OF CUTS: 20
RUNNING TIME: 78:31
COVER ART: Nicely typed
SONG LIST: Her post of June 19
ALREADY REVIEWED BY: No one, although I recall a couple people mention in passing that this is among their favorite discs.
SUBSEQUENTLY REVIEWED BY: Gordon on October 6
GENERAL THOUGHTS: This album has more cuts that I actually own than any other, including 6 of the first 7.
When I first played it (in the office, half listening) I thought it was too noodly. What I mean by “noodly” is too much emphasis on the bands that occasionally jam too long, such as the Allman Brothers and the Grateful Dead, and their musical descendants such as Phish. I like these bands well enough, but I guess I’m more of a song man.
On second listen (at home, paying more attention), I thought the balance of cuts was great. And it plays well with repeated listening. This is why I always listen thrice before I evaluate.
THINGS I PARTICULARLY LOVED: Los Lonely Boys (I gotta get them), Maceo Parker, Arlo
ON THE OTHER HAND: Gee, let me think of something: OK, typos in Crow’s and McLaughlin’s first names on the label
OFFICE FRIENDLY: Yep. In fact, you could put this in a 5-CD mixer and it would be a nice addition.
ONLY VAGUELY RELATED: My wife is a teacher too, so I may be slightly favorably disposed.

Stealing from Burgas again

The questions, that is; the answers are all mine.

I did this for only two reasons: 1) the piece I was writing just wasn’t going anywhere, (that ever happen to you folks?), though you may still see it in the future; and 2) because I’m a sucker for this self-revelatory stuff.

1. Ten years ago: In August 1995, I was going out with Carol, who’s now my wife. But we broke up in March 1996, and didn’t get back together for good until November 1998.

2. Five years ago: In August 2000, my father died. I may have mentioned that recently.

3. One year ago: saw some minor league baseball games, started to get out of the fog of new fatherhood.

4. Yesterday: Played racquetball, cutthroat (3 players), won a 30-minute long game. Worked on my self-evaluation at work, a real MEGO, except that is the only way I can even be considered for a raise. Also, I sent off an evaluation of my intern to her school. Got an e-mail from a high school friend from Binghamton, Jon Phipps, who I hadn’t seen since 1990; he was in town to pick up his wife from a meeting, so we had lunch and caught up. After work, went out to eat with Carol for our lunaversary sans the child. Wrote a CD review for the blog, which will show up Saturn-day.

5. Today: Play racquetball. Go to work, have a staff meeting. Hope to watched some taped TV. Probably go for a walk with Lydia after dinner if it doesn’t rain.

6. Tomorrow: To quote Steve Gerber, (sorry, Steve, for your pain), Tomorrow Never Knows. Racquetball, work. Was supposed to have lunch with another old friend, Michele, but that was postponed until Thursday. Probably another CD review.

7. Five snacks I enjoy: cottage cheese with any number of things: canned fruit, apple sauce, apples; ice cream, especially strawberry; fig bars; oatmeal raisin cookies; animal crackers (the good kind).

8. Five bands I know the lyrics of most of their songs: Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, Rolling Stones, CSN&Y. Are Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, John Lennon, Neil Young “bands”?

9. Five things I would do with $100,000,000: contribute $1000 apiece to a whole bunch of charities I’ve always wanted to support; pay off the mortgages of my sisters’ and my brothers-in-law’s houses (oh, and ours); do every single repair in the house that we’ve put off because of lack of money (new kitchen cabinets, new bathroom, attic insulation especially); hire a secretary, driver, housekeeper and a masseuse (ah, a daily massage); and get season tickets to the symphony, the theater and to minor league baseball. Oh, there are other things, but those are the first five off the top of my head.

10. Five locations I’d like to run away to: Fiji, Rome, Paris, Rio, some remote part of Hawai’i.

11. Five Bad Habits: Don’t eat enough salad, my desk is a mess, I tend to be late, my periodicals tend to pile up unread, I avoid balancing my checkbook.

12. Five things I like doing: Playing racquetball, reading periodicals, blogging, playing cards or backgammon, going to baseball games.

13. Five TV shows I like: JEOPARDY!, CBS Sunday Morning, Gilmore Girls, Scrubs, 60 Minutes.

14. Famous People I’d like to meet: Living or dead. Thomas Jefferson, Richard Nixon, John Lennon, Mohandas Gandhi, Christopher Reeve.

15. Biggest joys at the moment: Well, daughter Lydia is a hoot. Seeing old friends. Seeing movies with my wife again. This blog.

16. Favorite toys: Stereo, CD burner, VHS/DVD player. I have simple needs.

17. Five people to tag: Not my thing. Sorta like those junk e-mails that says “pass this on and have good luck” or “pass this on if you love Jesus.” Jesus and I are fine, gracias, but I’m still not passing on dopey e-mail.

Penguins & Dogs & Plastics

Carol & I went to see two more movies recently.

Must Love Dogs stars the luminescent Diane Lane and the wonderful John Cusack. I REALLY wanted to love this movie. But you know that a romantic comedy isn’t working when 1) you don’t laugh and 2) you don’t get a sense of chemistry between the two who are “destined to be together, even if they don’t know it yet.” In fact, the only time I really believed them as a potential couple was during the end credits, when in fact, they WERE a couple reflecting back on their courtship. Part of the problem with the laughs was that old story- the best ones show up in the previews.
Other fine actors, including as Christopher Plummer, who plays Lane’s father (and blind date! – this is revealed in the trailer) also appear, but I didn’t much care about any of the characters EXCEPT the Stockard Channing character, who plays one of the Plummer character’s girlfriends. It’s not an AWFUL film, but it is lacklustre.
And the title is SO wrong, since NEITHER character actually owns a dog.

March of the Penguins is a very right title for a very right film. These noble birds that don’t fly go through a tortured year-long process in an attempt to bring their young into the world. I lost count how many 70-mile treks the animals had to make. I couldn’t help but think about two things, though:
1) If humans had to go through so much in order to create babies, we’d have zero population in no time – no, make that negative population growth.
2) How the heck did the filmmaker get such compeling footage under such adverse conditions? We’re talking Antarctic winter, -80 F. And the summer is not a day at the beach, either.

We also rented a video of The Graduate, an iconic movie I admitted to never seeing here. One of the things someone told me is that I might find it dated.
Lessee: Young man has relationship with female friend of his parents, but prefers the company of HER daughter. Gets chewed out by the cuckolded husband. Sounds like the plot of last week’s Jerry Springer show.
Truth is that I LOVED this movie, from Dustin Hoffman’s “what the heck do I do now?” college grad (been there), to the late Anne Bancroft’s sultry seduction (I’ve almost been there) to the Simon & Garfunkel score (I live there) to doing the absolutely irrational for love (boy, have I been THERE). It also features one of my favorite actors, William Daniels from the TV show St. Elsewhere. This was my first viewing, but definitely not my last.