I am currently getting back into playing music after a very long hiatus.
It’s a long road back but I’m enjoying the ride.
Many years ago I had some problems with my voice and my upper range.
The vocal power I had when I was 20 was long gone.
It was devastating to me.
The voice is an intensely emotional thing.
Unlike a guitar or saxophone, the voice works purely off of emotion.
Not that ‘instruments’ made of wood or metal don’t but it’s a visceral thing with vocal cords.
They are internally connected to the soul of the artist.
Some would argue that it’s the same thing with their instrument.
I’m walking a fine line here with my musician friends but I think/hope they will at least understand.
My voice is getting better these days for whatever the reason.
10 years ago it was crap to me; my upper range was total wasteland of wimpy vocal sounds.
Many folks will wonder what I’m talking about because they think I sound great.
What many don’t understand is that if the instrument doesn’t sound good to the artist then it just doesn’t work.
It’s very hard to explain because it’s a musician thing.
The voice needs many things but most of all it needs confidence.
It needs the backing of the body and soul.
Singers will agree because they know what I’m talking about.
My voice is important to me, the main reason behind this post.
I’m not fishing for compliments just understanding from people that listen to me.
I want badly to get back to a place where my voice feels comfortable, feels like me.
Thanks to a few very special people, it’s slowly getting there.
My warm ups are a bit avant-garde as they are extreme vocalizations of cartoon characters and various comedians.
I’ve found that for me, they stretch my range/cords more than mere vocal exercises.
A few of them could possibly go viral on Youtube should I ever decide to publish them.
As long as my vocal cords keep stretching I think I’ll be happy.
Time will tell.
Just keep listening and I’ll keep looking for the i . . .
I am not, I repeat, not a morning person.
Never have been, never will.
Ask my wife.
Ask my kids.
Hell, ask Bill the conductor on the 6:30am train I take into Boston.
He checks my ticket and says, “Have a nice nap, sir.”
Bill would honestly say, “Definitely NOT a morning person.”
(*should be, “Not a person at all. He’s more of a thing at this time of the morning.”)
Some of you are ‘morning people’, happy, cheerful and ready to greet the new day with vim and vigor.
Sorry, you people suck.
You probably do 800 sit ups before your first cup of coffee too, right?
If this phrase is spoken to me and shouted from the fiddler on the rooftops with verve and effervescent happiness,
it makes me want to do one thing: punch the face that’s brave and stupid enough to utter it.
My God, what are you thinking?
I’m still sleeping for Christ’s sake and you are seriously getting on my nerves.
I need about 4 hours to wake up.
Why the hell can’t you ‘roosters’ get that?
I need coffee, juice and a personal five-minute sitdown on the porcelain throne before someone thrusts the ‘happy’ shit on me, okay?
Ease the hell up, all you happy morning people.
You’re messing with my head.
I just choose to burn the candle at the other end (as I do a blog post at midnight).
You, on the other hand, have been sleeping for 3 hours.
But do I call you and say, How are Ya! Good Evening!
I may send a totally incoherent email or two but that’s another story.
We all have trolls inside of us that make us act as we do.
You morning people have Richard Simmons.
We have Ed Asner (Lou Grant) from the Mary Tyler Moore show and he hasn’t taken a decent shit in 2 years. (click on Lou up above for a classic MTM moment)
Take two steps back until my green light comes on, okay?
That’s all I’m saying.
This morning I poured orange juice into my coffee.
Mr. Grant was not real impressed.
I’ll try again tomorrow morning but it will probably be the same.
Epic Michael Fail.
My brain is chemically challenged in the morning is all. As Huey Lewis once sang, “I want a new drug . . . “
I am all about the stars.
Just downloaded ‘Stellarium’ tonight.
Had to share.
Even the desktop icon is cool for this program.
If you like stars and the night sky this program is nuckin’ futs.
It’s a big file (@40megs) but totally worth it.
I’ve been trolling the sky for the past half hour.
Click on the picture above and enjoy.
Any guesses as to the constellation up there?
(Moe, don’t bother)
Research has led to the discovery of one of the heaviest elements yet known to science.
The new element, Governmentium (Gv), has one neuron, 25 assistant neurons, 88 deputy neurons and 198 assistant deputy neurons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.
These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.
Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert; however, it can be detected because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact.
A minute amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that normally takes less than a second to as long as 4 years to complete.
Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2-6 years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neurons and deputy neurons exchange places. In fact, Governmentium’s mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization causes more morons to become neurons, forming isodopes.
This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass. When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, which has half as many peons but twice the number of morons.
Science is amazing sometimes, isn’t it?
I am busy the entire weekend but didn’t want to leave you guys with nothing.
I couldn’t post a video clip from Terrence Blanchard, so I will leave you with a link.
YouTube can be so damn fickle.
The cut is called Over There from his album called “A Tale of God’s Will, a requiem for Katrina”
This is an intensely moving instrumental so sit back, make some hot chocolate and enjoy.
Catch you guys and gals next week.
I am so far behind, blogwise, I almost hate myself.
But I am making progress on the book.
My wife and I are having an anniversary dinner at the house of some dear friends tomorrow night so I will not be around until the beginning of the week.
Later all . . .
btw ~ my deepest thanks to Moe, DownUnder, for all her help in getting this theme up and running.
We were chatting on Gmail one night when she sent me the link for this particular template.
I think it is stunning. Comments regarding the look are always appreciated.
Please direct your comments towards Moe.
She took care of 95% of it.
I have always found this kind of thing fascinating.
This short clip from MetaCafe puts things somewhat into perspective.
So, the next time you’re feeling a bit small in this big ‘ol world know that in the
grand scheme of things, you are.
Just being a wiseass.
Enjoy the clip.
I received an email a week or so ago that I almost sent to the spammer.
Something made me open it.
It was from a woman named Jody Simpson, of WEGO Health, an online resource for health related issues.
She had been reading my Memory Lane blog and was curious if I’d be interested in doing a “spotlight interview” regarding my personal experience with Alzheimer’s Disease.
I agreed and was contacted by Toni Kistner, the assigned editor for my interview.
Jody and Toni were both incredibly helpful in ultimately getting this thing down on paper.
I thank them both dearly.
Click on the picture above to learn a few things that you may not have known about me.
To leave a comment on WEGO, you may have to register.
If that doesn’t work for you, feel free to leave a comment back here.
As always, thanks so much for reading.
Just wanted to put up yet another “thank you” post for being so damn generous with your comments.
I wanted to make my way around the “bloghorn” but will never do it all tonight.
I’m only human.
A few notes of interest, if you look to my side bar you will see a little jpeg of Joe Jackson (musician).
If you click it, it will open Adobe Reader on your computer (assuming you have it installed), and download his essay as a .pdf file.
I don’t comment much about smoking on the blog but I feel Jackson’s essay should be read by smokers and non-smokers alike.
I think it’s absolutely brilliant.
You may feel differently.
I’m not going to address my stance on smoking right now.
Just know that I smoke.
And I enjoy it.
And I pay exorbitant and unscrupulous taxes because of my habit (which is absolute bullshit).
To the US government, tax something else for a change, for cripes sake.
Just imagine if the government started taxing Budweiser and Happy Meals the way they tax tobacco these days.
Would people be a bit angry?
Think about it.
Click on the philosopher above to visit Jackson’s website.
There’s some great stuff to be found there.
And now for something completely different;
Last week, I woke up in the middle of the night after falling asleep early and came downstairs to the sound of ‘beep-beep-beep-beep’.
My wife was laying on the couch pointing the cordless phone at the TV and pressing the “call button” on and off.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“Trying to turn this friggin’ thing down,” she said.
“You can’t do that with the phone, dear, ” I said, as I took the phone out of her hand, turned off the TV and guided her upstairs to bed.
Ah, sleepyheads can be funny sometimes.
I think she may have called China a few times though.
Check out the Jackson video below.