Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Beatles

The Beatles are my favorite music all-time. More-so than Weird Al Yankovic. More-so than Flight of the Conchords. That's Big.

I grew up listening to them, often hiding under my oldest brother's desk to get away from my middle brother's terrorizing. Their music is catchy, and easy to sing, and pretty*. What I didn't realize was the gamut their music ran on subject matter. When you're a kid you don't really pay attention to lyrics that much. Yes, they have a zillion love songs. You've also got your war protest songs, drug-related songs, and more.

Our family is big fans of the Rockband games. I personally have sung through every song on RockBand 1 in a huge marathon session that took hours and hours, and a large portion of the RockBand 2 songs. What's interesting is that most of those songs -- I had no idea prior to that what the actual LYRICS were. Some of them were shocking, some of them nonsense. The ones that make no sense are really hard to sing. We recently rented Beatles Rockband and sat around as a family playing them. It was REALLY funny to listen to my kids trying to sing I Am The Walrus and Come Together ... we were laughing because of the lyrics being so silly and not making any sense to them.

This has caused all of us to really listen to music more closely and pick out the lyrics. Here's some of my impressions on some Beatles' songs, now that I'm all growed up and actually pay attention. These aren't necessarily my 'favorites' just ones that I have something to say about:

1. We all agree that Maxwell's Silver Hammer is just about the happiest bouncy cheerful song about a serial killer anyone could want. How can you NOT sing along with this? Funny how the music can take what is an horrific subject matter and make it appealing to listen to.

2. Run For Your Life -- This song is really catchy, good rhythm.. I was listening to it on the way in to work today and then I LISTENED to what I was singing and was like.. wait.. this song is about an obsessive lover who is threatening to kill this girl because he can't stand to see her with another guy?!! Woah. And then I kept singing it.

3. Taxman -- proof positive that these songs are still relevant even to today - who doesn't feel like you're being taxed on the air you breathe??

4. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds -- yeah yeah, Julian Lennon drew a picture.. then the Beatles got high on LSD and made this song about it. ;)

5. Happiness Is A Warm Gun -- Yay!! NRA's anthem.. who doesn't love a warm gun??

6. Hello, Goodbye -- the kids LOVE this song. They'll sing it every time I put it on, it's like a Sesame Street lesson on opposites filled with Beatle-y goodness.

7. Let It Be -- God forbid I try to skip this song for whatever reason when the kids are in the vicinity.. they put up a huge fuss.. another favorite song of theirs to sing to, though really they only sing the chorus >.<

8. Back In the U.S.S.R. -- one of the few Beatles songs I happily skip. Anyone else see this as a predecessor to California Girls by the Beach Boys? Not sound-wise, but subject-matter-wise. *yawn*

9. Yellow Submarine -- we love the movie, we love the song. Blue Meanies are funny.

10. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) -- yay! one night stand and/or affair! but.. DENIED! You go sleep in the bathtub! Ok FINE, then before I leave I'll set your flat on fire. HAHAH!!! o.O

I'm sure there's a ton more I could talk about, but that's the ten I'm picking now. What's your favorite Beatles song and why? Mine is "Here, There and Everywhere." I find it to be a completely delightful love song, one that I hear and think, I want someone to think that about me.

*This is of course a gross simplization of their music. I'm not going into the composition, lyrics, or arrangement technicalities. I just know what I like to listen to.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fun with Recycling

Alright I admit I am not a "Green" person. I don't bring my own cloth bags to the grocery store (though I usually do to the library, but that's self serving, I hate it when the mountain of books I get break through the plastic bags), I used disposable diapers with my kids when they were babies, and I don't eat organic free-range vegetables and meat that has volunteered to sacrifice it's life for my carnivorous pleasure.

Until we moved here, I also didn't recycle.

Understand, for years I *thought* about recycling. Every time a visitor would ask if we recycled cans, or one of the kids would come home fresh from a Save The World lesson at school and lay the innocent Guilt Trip of "mommy why don't we recycle"? Truth is, I was lazy. I didn't want to figure out HOW to, I knew there was some other truck that picked up that stuff, but where do I get the container? When do they pick it up? What stuff do I put in there? Bah! I don't have to pay for regular trash pick-up I'm glumping it all together in the regular trash.

When we moved here, I discovered we had to PAY for trash service. BUMMER. You pay a different price depending on the size of the trash can you have. The bigger the can, the more costly. Also, they give you a separate recycle trash can too that's included in the price, that they will pick up every-other week. If your regular trash is overflowing they charge you extra too. See where this is going?

We immediately found with a family of four that we generate enough trash, that we can easily make that medium-sized regular trash can overflow before trash day. Time to start Recycling! I grabbed out their brochure, and typed up two signs to tape above the recycle trash can in the house. DO Recycle and DON'T Recycle. And thus it began.

As time has gone on, I've discovered something. I *LIKE* recycling. There is a certain satisfaction with breaking down food boxes, washing out cans, and definitely with not paying extra for overflowing trash or a larger trash can. Also, it feels GOOD. I like that my kids are seeing us and participating in us recycling. I don't feel guilty anymore about throwing stuff away for it to end up in a landfill somewhere where it oughtn't. It's funny that a decision based solely on saving money ends up being a decision that also makes us feel better about ourselves and our care-taking of this planet.

I'm still going to use plastic bags at the store, though. Where else will I get my lunch bags?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Snakes.. Why'd It Have To Be Snakes?

Almost a month ago I went to Blockbuster, and deciding that since the kids had a week coming up for some random School break, to invest in a month-long video game pass. This lets you check out one video game of any type at a time, and you can keep it as long as you want or trade it for another, etc etc, for a month. We've cycled through quite a number of games so far, with the kids taking turns picking.

Last week I went, and took my daughter with me since it was her turn to pick the game. Since she had just gotten some $ for her good grades, she of course had to buy some form of overly-priced candy they sell. She chose a blue and white gummy snake, which was almost 3 feet long. Once home she proceeded to name it (Roger), and then use my kitchen scissors to slowly dissect it and eat the pieces over a period of a few days. Barbaric.

We went again today, this time both kids went with me since it was my son's turn to pick, and my daughter still had $ burning a hole in her pocket. Today she decided to buy THREE gummy snakes. She had already named them before we even got to the register.

Cashier: Wow someone really likes gummy snakes!

Daughter: Yeah. That's Roger Jr., that's Phil, and that's Frank.

Cashier (taken aback and yet horrifically fascinated): You name them?

Daughter: Oh yeah, and then I cut them up and eat them.

Cashier (nervous laugh): Hehe.. ok then here's your snakes

Dialogue from back of car on way home:

Daughter (to Roger Jr.): I'm sorry Roger Jr., you're father is dead. I DIDN'T DO IT. It was.... an eagle. ..... that was me.

Son: We should rename them. Call that one (indicates red and orange snake) "Tree".

Daughter: Well this one HAS to be Roger Jr. cause he looks like Roger. This other one can be "Will"... I'm not sure about the red & orange one.. what should we call it?

Me: How about Aeroflex*?

Daughter: Oh Mom. Let's call him Chuck.

The snakes:

And yes, she went to the store in her PJ's bottoms. If I do it, she can do it too.

*Aeroflex is a type of video camera, my nerdy brother named one of a litter of puppies this name many many years ago. Because he's a nerd.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Good Mood != Drunk

So last night Lem and I were playing World of Warcraft, and we were raiding (for you non-gamers, it's when a bunch of you get together to go fight monsters in a dungeon).

So we have 25 people, all that can type back and forth to each other in group chat, and we're also on Vent which is where you can hear/talk to each other through a headset. As always, when you get that many people together to game, you have some people that NEVER talk in raid/on vent. They show up, they do their 'job', get their lootz. You have some people that OCCASIONALLY talk; they make a comment now and then so it's always a nice surprise to see them talking. Then, you have people like me. I like to talk. I like to interact with people. What can I say, I'm a people person. Within a week of joining this guild the Guild Leader had nicknamed me "Chatty Kathy".

Lately, however, there's been some tension between some of the people playing. Lots of stress, lots of pressure, and basically it really has been kind of unfun. Add to that me not getting enough sleep lately and it's made for a very grumpy Del. So I haven't been talking much. At all.

Yesterday, I was chatting through the day with some friends on Twitter. I also after getting home finally got around to reading a site that one of my favorite bloggers writes on. It was HILARIOUS. The site, which is NSFW (and probably blocked if your work is like mine) is It has funny stories, product reviews, Q&A posts.. all... er.. of a mature nature. So I was reading the posts, and giggling, and asking (aka embarrassing) my friends on WoW asking them what certain terminologies meant.

Raid time came around, and since it was Tuesday we start the week fresh (server resets Tuesday mornings), so these are the "easier" monster fights we've killed in the past, which means it's less pressure/stress. Combine that with the giggly silliness I had been reading, and I was in a Good Mood. This hasn't happened for quite a bit while raiding, so it caused me to loosen up and actually joke and chat in raid. I had several people ask me if I was drunk. LOL! Aside from the fact that the only alcohol we have in any quantity in the house is a 12-pack of Rainier Beer (aka Moose Piss, as I like to call it), I had to be up for work at 5:30am the next morning so NO, no alcohol for Del.

I'd have to say it was a fun night, there was lots of kidding around, zingers flying and we still managed to kill a bunch of monsters and I got a new piece of gear (shoulders). It's amazing how something as simple as being in a good mood can change a whole night. I'll have to try that more often.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I Love A Mystery

I have a confession, I'm a sucker for a good mystery.

I'm not talking mystery books. I'm talking history books. Stories of people that lived in the past, pictures from those time periods. Wild west, pioneer days, colonization times, the victorian era. Who the people were, how they lived, how they died.

I have read all of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, and the few more books published afterwards that include writings by her, letters to her husband and daughter, and pictures she took at that time. I've dug into the mysteries such as the Mary Celeste, Roanoke Island, Easter Island. All of these give details you can picture in your head, or even photos, but you can't actually be there at that time to *experience* it, or in some cases know what really happened. What was it like to actually not run to the store when you ran out of milk? What really happened when they find a perfectly good ship just floating in the sea with no one aboard?? Wouldn't it be cool if I could kill all those stupid !@# Canada geese that loiter around destroying lawns and supplement my larder (see, I know the word LARDER cause I read stuff like that).

It's the same with old pictures. I've recently been enjoying this site:
This guy posts old photos, anything from places to people and more. Every picture shows a little piece of the past that I never got to experience. Perhaps one shows a town where all the conveyances were horse-drawn, this one has farmers working in the fields by hand. Another shows a solemn couple in their finery (and just WHEN did people make the transition to *smiling* in pictures, anyway?).

Each one has a story to tell, but I don't know it. These people and places existed, had lives, loved, lived.. and it seems irrational but the pictures and stories all make me a little sad. It's as if I missed out on something amazing and beautiful even though my logic says today's technology, sanitation, and medical care is really where I want to be. Imagine seeing the plains stretching for miles and miles with thousands of buffalo thundering past. Imagine the sky so dark with birds it blacks out the sun. Imagine wearing bustles, or high-necked gowns, or a time when an a car was a novelty. Pictures capture a moment in time, but they can't really make you understand how it FELT, or convey the full impact.

So I continue to look at the pictures, and try to imagine what the people were thinking, or who they were, and perhaps make up stories in my head about them, and enjoy the mystery.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Superbowl Review

So today was the Superbowl! It was a bunch of guys playing football, and The Who (I think .. I saw Pete Townsend anyway) singing at halftime. But really, who watches it for that??

I recorded the whole thing as I have in the last couple years, and then once it was over, I sat down to fast forward through the game, and watch the commercials.

What?? You don't remember them/didn't watch?? You can see them all here:

Here are my highlights:

Doritos -- FUNNY, except the one with the little boy telling the guy to keep his 'hands off his momma and his doritos'. Yeah ew.

E*Trade -- First one was funny, second was so-so, but nothing tops the commercial a few years ago with the baby who had used his investments to hire a clown but had "underestimated the creepiness of it".

Go-Daddy -- Just give ME the $ for airing this tripe. I was watching with my daughter, so had to fast forward through their sexist stupid commercials.

The and other job search ones -- erm.. interesting.. The "Casual Fridays" one had quite an EWWWW factor watching all the people walk around their office in their knickers.

Dockers -- What is up with commercials with people in their underwear this year?? There was another totally STUPID commercial featuring football players "singing" and one of em had a tiger-striped thong. Ick.

Annheiser-Busch (bud light) -- Boy they had a buttload of commercials. Good one was the scientists that thought the world was going to end by meteor. Funny bridge commercial, funny plane wreck commercial, funny auto-tune commercial (nice nod to K-Pek, first musician to make auto-tune popular I believe), and yay! one clydesdale commercial. Sorry but nothing tops their first original Clydesdales-playing-football commercial.

Bridgestone -- HAHA! Bachelor party, love it!

Dodge -- All the stuff Guys put up with so they can drive the car they want. "I will watch your Vampire TV shows with you." HAHAH!!

Coca Cola- Simpsons *yawn* dumb

Denny's -- By far the BEST COMMERCIALS of the superbowl. The first one set it up for the rest -- screaming chickens are FUNNY.

Dr. Pepper -- KISS and a big WTF???? or should I say small..

FloTV -- The ad with the guy who has "had his spine removed" HAHAHAHA!!!

Snickers -- Cute, nice little sight gag.

VW - nice, and the snippet of Stevie Wonder made us laugh and laugh

Audi -- HAHAH!! Green Police!! Actually.. this would probably be more funny if I didn't think at some point the world will actually be like this. Actually now that I think about it this is a little scary.

Vizio -- Yay for all the Internet Viral Videos featured!! Zombies, Numa Numa Guy, David the kid, Tay Zonday (Chocolate Rain), and probably more I missed.

So there you have it. There were a few others but nothing worth mentioning, in my opinion. Oh, and I guess some guys played football. I hope you enjoyed your Superbowl as much as we enjoyed ours!