Friday Five – Songs for Blago

Sorry Mr. Blagojevich, you have to join the ranks of nearly 4.8 million other unemployed U.S. workers today. But in the meantime, here’s a list just for you!

Wave goodbye to the corrupt politician boys & girls!

Wave goodbye to the corrupt politician boys & girls!

Is Anybody Listening – Queensryche * : actually yes. Not only did they listen to his conversations, they recorded them & played them back during the trial which is what ultimately led to his removal from office!

Step Right Up – Tom Waits: one of the most talked about allegations was Rod’s attempt to basically sell Obama’s vacant Senate seat.

Lies – Violent Femmes: A very appropriate tune for the Big B, since it’s not only about lies, it even mentions poetry reading!

Bad Reputation – Joan Jett & the Blackhearts: which is exactly what he will have the rest of his life whether he is convicted on the criminal charges or not.

Looking For A Job – Todd Snider: after yesterday’s vote to remove him from office, looking for a job is exactly what Mr. Blagojevich needs to start doing today.

* (for the record, this song is not on my iPod, but the title fit so well I had to use it – I almost went with Danity Kane’s song of the same name – it’s just as bad, but they are nicer to look at!)

What a week!

Monday, usually the lowest point of the work-week, is such a distant memory I can barely remember it. I do recall getting extremely tired of listening to coworkers complain and fret about a forecasted winter storm supposedly heading our way. It’s not in my nature to worry about things out of my control like that. And let’s face it, nine times out of ten, when we hear those forecasts, they never actually happen.

Then came Tuesday.

The ice on the roadways caused me to be a half-hour late to work. And it just kept falling from the sky.  So much that I finally canceled my appointments for that afternoon & went home. It kept coming down. My boss called on Wednesday morning to tell me, if I did decide to go into work, that they were officially pushing opening time back 2 hours because of road conditions. But also that he wasn’t going in and suggested that I stay home too because of how far we both live from the plant.  So I did.

The highlight of my snow-day was when our satellite TV lost its signal due to being covered with frozen precipitation. I could see the stir-crazy look in the Wife’s eyes as she came to the realization that she may have to go a whole day with no Food Network or Lifetime movies. So I took swift action! (Hero-type that I so obviously am.) Standing on the patio in sweatpants, t-shirt and snow boots, I took aim at the dish, high on the side of the house, with a super-soaker water gun filled with hot water & table salt. It was a sight to behold. And much to my own surprise as much as anybody’s, we had TV within 30 minutes. Oh yeah – I rock!

I came into work today. And even though the precipitation officially stopped falling over 24 hours ago, the temperature has remained frigid and the roads are still darn-near impassable. Even the highways are little more than two spotty tire-width ruts. I slipped & slid all the way here. But at least I’m here (I guess). I suppose I should just be thankful that; 1) I don’t work at the plant a few buildings down from us whose entire roof caved in under the weight of the ice and snow a few nights ago, or 2) that we don’t live a few miles south of here where they haven’t had power for at least 48 hours and the gas stations have systematically run out of gas to run generators, let alone vehicles!

birds_on_frozen_branches

And as a cruel paradox – it’s beautiful!

A Prayer for Today

I know I have used this prayer on this blog before, but with the inauguration yesterday and the peril that we find our country in, it seemed like a very appropriate time to recall it. Let this prayer be for us as a country, a people united & strengthened by our diversity and working toward a common goal, as well as for the new administration.

The Prayer of St. Francis

san_francesco_cimabue2Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Amen.

Remembering MLK

mlk

During the Inauguration Concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial yesterday, before launching into the song they wrote in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., Bono said, “On this spot where we’re standing 46 years ago Dr. King had a dream. On Tuesday, that dream comes to pass.” But as much as I love U2 and respect Bono, I just don’t know if that statement is completely true. People are still judged by the color of their skin instead of by the content of their character, whether we choose to believe that or not. It is true that we have made progress. But discrimination, whether it is because of skin color, weight, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or whatever is unfortunately alive and well.

King said, “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.”

The election of a black president is not an end. Change itself is not a destination. It is a process. It is a battle. It is a continuous struggle. But it is a process, a battle and a struggle worth undertaking.

“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”

As we take this day to remember the life of Dr. King and reflect on his dream, his vision, and his words, let us not stop there, but pair it with action. Let’s make a commitment to not be silent, to continue his great work, and to be “dedicated individuals”.

What’s on the iPod?

The Weepies – Hideaway

the_weepies_hideawayMarried couple Deb Talan and Steve Tannen have been making beautiful music together since 2001 even though they didn’t actually record together until 2005 under the name the Weepies. On the surface they make pretty, melodic, indie-folk/pop music filled with soft vocals, lovely harmonies and catchy hooks. But on closer inspection, their lyrics are filled with darker, real-world images of disappointment, heartache, self-doubt, and pain. You know, all of those things that make music worth listening to and why we feel so personally connected to it so often.

Their music has been featured on TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Everwood, One Tree Hill, Scrubs, The Riches, How I Met Your Mother, Gossip Girl, GRΣΣK, Kyle XY, and Dirty Sexy Money, as well as the Sex and the City Movie and a campaign ad for President-Elect Barack Obama. They also collaborated with Mandy Moore, writing and performing on her latest album Wild Hope. Yet somehow they’ve still managed to fly pretty well under the radar.

I bought this album this weekend with an iTunes gift card that I received for Christmas after watching and listening to these two videos on-line. And the rest of the album is just as good. If you like this kind of music – you will certainly like the Weepies.

Friday Five – Covering The King

Since yesterday, January 8, would have been Elvis Presley’s 74th birthday, I thought it might be fun to do Elvis songs covered by other artists this morning. I tried hard to make sure these were actually Elvis songs and not songs that Elvis covered, because he covered A LOT of songs! Even many songs that most people consider Elvis songs were actually covers. Oh well. At least I got to listen to a boat-load of great music while trying to compile the list! I can’t complain.

elvis-presley-0001

Little Sister – Dwight Yoakam

Summer Kisses, Winter Tears – Julee Cruise

Heartbreak Hotel – John Cale

Don’t Be Cruel – Cheap Trick

Love Me Tender – Norah Jones

Happy Friday!

I’m Sexy & I Didn’t Even Know It

MSN Careers published an article today that lists the Top 10 Surprisingly Sexy Careers, and believe it or not somehow I made the list!

computer-love

On the rundown of not-so-obvious sexy jobs, IT Worker landed at number 5. But why? Just because my wife has a weakness for geeks, doesn’t mean all women do. And I am certainly not wearing a garter-belt under my uniform or breathing through my eyelids. According to the author the answer is two-fold. First of all, there’s the power. Whether you’re a CEO or a Mail Clerk, if your email won’t open, you call me. Period. I can find files you deleted and see how long you spent on eBay today. Power is pretty sexy I guess. Then there is the fact that IT typically has the most lax dress code in the office. I’m not sure how that’s sexy. Enviable maybe, but sexy?