Thursday, March 27, 2014

Song Onomatopoeia - Song-omatopoeia?

If a word that sounds like what it describes is onomatopoeia (POP, POOF, THUD), then what do you
call a song with music successfully matching the feeling of the lyrics?

Best recent example is "Happy" by Pharrell Williams.  The music of that song just sounds happy! When it plays, it's impossible not to find yourself tapping your foot, or bobbing your head, just feeling happy-clappy!  If you need to boost your mood, just play this song. It sounds happy!

Another example of song-omatopoeia (I made that up) is from the Beatles.

"I'm So Tired,"written and sung by John Lennon, is from the White Album, 1968. The song starts and John sounds tired. The music, lyrics and John's voice, all sound so tired.

Not familiar with the song?  Try this link:
http://www.last.fm/music/The+Beatles/_/I'm+So+Tired

"I'm so tired, I haven't slept a wink. I'm so tired, my mind is on the blink.  I wonder should I get up and fix myself a drink.  No no no…… "

Sometimes when I am feeling so tired, I find myself singing this. It perfectly fits the feeling.

What other songs successfully match the feeling of their lyrics with the sound of their music?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Beatles in America - 1964

It was 50 years ago today… The Beatles played on the Ed Sullivan Show.  I was just a kid, but I still remember it. It was the first music I listened to, followed, and saved my money to buy the albums. I think albums were around $4.00 at the time.  I still have a few of my originals: Beatles '65, Rubber Soul, Abbey Road...

If you watch the press conferences from that time, it seemed the press kept trying to trip them up with serious questions, since they were just kids in a pop band… but they always seemed to have witty and clever responses. And remember, they were all under 25 years old when they arrived in 1964.

It's also interesting to remember how shocked people were about their long hair.  Seriously. Look at their 1964 pictures, and think about how shocking this long hair was at the time.  Seems silly today.

A few years later, some religious groups gathered to burn Beatles records, because they decided they were evil, for some reason.  Even as a kid, it seemed silly to me at the time.  Just because they were new and inventive was no reason to fear them. At that time, I actually decided, that as I grow up, I should give new things a chance.  I still think of that today.  If I hear music that I don't like, I try to pause, give it a chance, and try to understand where they're coming from, and what they're expressing.  I still might not like it personally, but everyone has a right to their voice, and their point of view.  Truly inventive, creative people are sometimes not immediately understood, because they're ahead of their time, with new ideas.

I recently read a comment from someone who asked what's the big deal, The Beatles were just another pop group.  But I'm not sure that person realizes the context.  What did music sound like before The Beatles, and what happened after they started writing and performing their own music?

The Beatles Anthology CD's are amazing.  There are 3 volumes, with 2 CD's each. They are chronological, so in Volume 1, you hear some early covers they did of other people's music. As time progresses, they start writing their own music, and you can hear the sound developing. These CD's also include early takes in the studio of music they later released.  I love hearing the process of creativity, so these CD's are amazing as you hear their rough demo tapes then get developed into what eventually became the finished song.

You can probably download the music, without actually having the CD, but the liner notes of these CD's describe what you're hearing, and add a lot to the audio as you listen.



The Beatles changed popular music, and we're still listening, 50 years later.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What's the opposite of Onomatopoeia?

Onomatopoeia is the term for a word or words that sound like what they define.
Examples:  Tick Tock, Kerplunk, Oink, Meow, Plop Plop Fizz Fizz.

My question is, what about a word that is the opposite of what it defines?
Example: Monosyllabic.

Just wondering if there's a word for that...

Monday, February 3, 2014

This is the oldest I've been yet

Every year our birthday gives us a time to reflect.  Sometimes we're happy with where we find ourselves, other times we wish we would have accomplished more by this age… whatever age that is.  It's part of life.

Often we complain about aging, getting older. But once you've known someone who never got the chance to get old, that changes.  For me, when my brother, Michael and my friend, Jana each died before they had a chance to get old, I realized that I could not complain about getting older, in honor of them. They never got to be this old.

Sometimes life is fun, sometimes it's difficult.  Some days are hard, some are easy. But onward we go, because, well, this is all we've got! We strive to keep a balance in life, aim to stay positive, and enjoy the time we have with the people we love. We continue to get older, because that's what we all do.

So, this is the oldest I've been yet, but I hope to get much older before I'm through.
Here's to a great year ahead!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

So Much Time, So Little To Do

Wait... Strike that, reverse it.


This, I believe is a quote from Willy Wonka. It is how I feel about the world lately.  
Too much to do!  Computers were supposed to make our lives easier (weren't they?) but they  just give us more stuff to keep track of.  Access to more information, certainly, but how do we keep track of it all?

We can search the Web for answers to anything.  It is amazing, any question you can think of, someone else in the world has the answer, or has at least asked the same question.  The learning possibilities are endless.  It's exciting. And time-consuming. Especially when one page has an interesting link to another, and then to another, and then you see something else interesting, and that reminds you of another thing you want to look up and then... wait, what was I searching for?

Check emails, read, reply to some, save others till later, until the email box is overflowing, go back through the old ones, and try to remember, why was I saving this? Delete. Delete.  Check your Facebook page, update. Check Linked In, update.  And Twitter. And Pinterest. And all the others I don't use. Watch a video clip. Listen to some music.  Remember to write something on your blog, at least once in awhile.  Send out some pictures. Pay your bills. Check emails again. And Facebook. And Linked In.... it's truly neverending.

How do you keep up with it all?

Maybe it's just me. Some days it's hard to focus.  I have to work on that.  
But first, let me go read that thing I just found...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Speeding Towards The Red Light

When you're driving, and the traffic light up ahead has just turned yellow, then red, do you still step on the gas and speed towards it?  Then at the last minute, do you step hard on your brakes, causing your car to lean forward and then lurch back sharply when coming to a stop?

Why do you do that?  I guess if you're trying to get into the left turn lane in time for the next arrow, I understand it then, but otherwise, it makes no sense to me. If you're trying to beat me to the red light, then, well, congratulations, I guess. You win.

I'm no car expert, but it seems that doing this would cause you to use more gas and wear out your brakes faster.  You're also really counting on your brakes to work perfectly. Luckily that usually happens. But as someone who was once sitting at a red light, and watched in their rear view mirror as a fast approaching car coming from behind DIDN'T manage to stop in time...  well, maybe that's why I'm a bit sensitive to it.  It's just one of my driver pet peeves.

So I guess my advice is, if the light ahead has just turned red, slow down!  You have nowhere to go, and you can save a little gas with a little coasting.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Slower Traffic Keep Right

My mind seems to be on traffic pet peeves these days so here's one more.

When you're on a multi-lane highway or freeway, with at least 3 lanes in each direction, it used to be common knowledge that slower traffic should stay to the right lane, and as cars wanted to drive faster, they would move to lanes to the left.

There were signs that said "Slower Traffic Keep Right" but I don't see those much anymore. So I wonder if people still know or follow that basic premise, that as you want to drive faster, you move a lane to the left.

You often see people zipping up the right lane, going fast, passing everyone. And in the far left lane, also known as the fast lane, or passing lane, you see people there, driving too slow, compared to how traffic is moving. This forces other drivers to go around them on the right.

Is it true that some drivers get into that left lane, and purposely drive exactly the speed limit, just to teach other drivers a lesson, that they shouldn't be speeding? I've heard some do and that seems silly. And dangerous. If people want to speed, they're going to do it. Blocking the flow of traffic in the fast lane doesn't teach anything, it just annoys other drivers and could encourage them to try more dangerous maneuvers, as they weave through traffic.

We're all in such a hurry, it's easy to lose our temper while driving. What they used to teach as "Defensive driving" I like to call "Driving as if every driver around you may be about to do something really dumb." It's hard to stay calm sometimes, and other drivers will occasionally do something really dumb.

While some traffic rules seem silly, most are designed to keep traffic moving safely. So, take a deep breath, stay calm and if you don't want to speed, stay to the right and let the speedsters fight it out in the fast lane.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Cars No Longer Equipped With Turn Signals

... or so it seems.

Okay, it's not true, but doesn't it seem like it sometimes? Turn signals, indicators, blinkers... call them what you will, but they're a very simple and fairly clever way to give other drivers a little advance warning, so they know what you're about to do, before you do it.  "Yes, I am slowing down, but you see, it's because I'll be turning up ahead."

They're so easy to use, why do so many people choose not to use them?
A simple form of communication, a safety device, and at the very least, a common courtesy to other drivers.

So, unless you're assuming that all the rest of the drivers on the road have ESP and can predict ahead of time every move you're about to make, next time you're about to make a turn or change lanes, just take that one finger and flip on your blinker. Everyone else on the road will be glad you did.

Friday, January 27, 2012

New City, New Year

Moving to a new city is
Exciting
Exhausting
Expensive
Exactly what I've done.

Moving is the only time you touch everything you own at least once. And usually you start to wonder where all this stuff came from. But you pack it up and move it with you anyway. Because, well, I might need it! It's a good time to purge out some unwanted things, but we do carry lots of stuff around with us, don't we?

In a new city, a sense of exploration is important. Figuring out where things are, how to best get to where you need to go. Meeting new people. It's fun. Tiring sometimes, and time consuming, but fun.

Many things seem more time consuming these days. There never seems to be enough time to keep up with everything. That seems true now more than ever. How many online accounts do we really need?How many passwords do I have to remember? Check the phone, check emails, check snail mail, check Facebook, and oh yeah, write a post for my blog. Time flies, whether you're having fun or not!

So here I am, in a new city in a new year. 2012. An interesting year. Maybe. Is it the end? An end? A beginning? Or just another year. The end of the world has been predicted before, many times, and yet, here we still are. Nobody knows for sure. So I guess we'll find out.

If 2012 is the end of something,  I have decided to think that maybe it's the end of the world, as we know it. Maybe this year will usher in a better world, a more peaceful world. a happier world. Maybe that sounds very Pollyanna, and usually, I can be as cynical as anybody, but in this one thing, I'm holding out a bit of hope.

"You could say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one." John Lennon said it best ... in his own write, of course.

New City, New Year. What will we be saying about 2012 next year at this time?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Souper Simple Soup Starter

If you keep these three ingredients in the kitchen, you can always make yourself a nice pot of healthy soup! Cannellini Beans are high in protein and fiber, so this can be the start to a great healthy vegetarian soup. This is a minestrone-type soup, but feel free to add whatever vegetables and meats you have on hand, to these three basic starting ingredients:

1 32 oz. Carton Vegetable Broth
1 14 to 18 oz Can of Diced Tomatoes
1 Can Cannellini Beans (white kidney beans), rinsed and drained

My favorite way to prepare this soup is to first put a little oil in a pot (about 4 quart). Chop up a handful of onion and garlic, (no, I am not very precise in my measurements) and saute in the oil, stirring occasionally while gathering and cutting other veggies. You could also cut up celery and carrots and saute them with the onions and garlic.

When the onions are soft, stir in the Broth and the Tomatoes.
Add the rinsed and drained Beans.
Stir in your favorite Herbs (parsley, basil, marjoram and oregano are all good).
To add some heat, you can add Crushed Red Pepper Flakes.
Stir in the fresh or frozen vegetables you have on hand. Broccoli, carrots, spinach, cauliflower, peas, zucchini are all good options. Shelled Edamame (soy) beans are good too, and add even more vegetarian protein.

If you don't want to depend on the bean protein, feel free to stir in cooked chicken or beef, or even meatballs. (Trader Joe's Frozen Turkey Meatballs are good in here. Sometimes I cut them in quarters so they'll heat faster)

If the soup starts to get too thick, just stir in a little water, or a little red wine.
You could add small pasta early on (when you first pour in the broth), but allow more time for the pasta to cook through (smaller pasta cooks faster).

Keep a spoon handy, so you can taste as you go, and add more herbs or salt and pepper, if it needs it. (I don't use much salt, but I know many people do.) It's fun to improvise and add your favorite flavors.

Cook until the vegetables are tender, ladle into bowls, and top with shredded Parmesan Cheese.

Simple, delicious, hearty and healthy!