A lollapalooza of great links to start off the week

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Birth vs Battle by David Corbett suggests that conflict ain’t everything in a story.

The Cyber Exchange Principle from the Writer’s Forensic Blog explains the Locard Exchange – the basis for using forensic evidence in crime detection.

An Almost Perfect Murder by Sue Coletta. Fascinating case study of a surgeon who almost got away with murder.

11 Tips to help you build your online community by Cat Michaels provides sage advice for building your platform.

Do You Know Where Your ISBNs Are? by Joel Friedlander, is a good nuts and bolts on ISBNs plus a free download.

How to write a great love scene by  Jessi Rita Hoffaman, provides some great tips on avoiding the schmaltz and getting to the gold in a love scene.

Who really killed JonBenet Ramsey by Garry Rodgers is an in depth analysis of the case and who the likely killer was of this sweet little girl.

Just for fun – I guess the shelf life for Shades has reached critical mass

And for laughs: Jimmy Fallon does a helluva Trump impression and this made me laugh out loud.

And just to get your week starting off right a little music.

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Something beautiful for you

Life has been so stressful lately and I’m sure we’re all feeling it. So instead of trying to stuff your brain with more words and thoughts, I wanted to just give you something truly beautiful to listen to. Magnificent! Enjoy!

 

If you are interested in learning about Cal Morris’s amazing music here are his links:

Cal Morris Website

Cal Morris Youtube channel

Cal Morris Facebook Page

Cal Morris Instagram

Cal Moris Twitter

And no, I have no personal connection to Cal Morris whatsoever – just heard his beautiful music at a time when I needed something beautiful in my life. And I thank him.

Michael Jackson – Farewell

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While I’ll admit to not being much of a Michael Jackson fan in recent years, I do have to say that he has left behind him and enormous body of work. The young boy with the amazing voice who I believe started singing professionally at the age of eight had a certain something. Charisma? Charm? Talent? A special light? I don’t know but it did reach people.

Off the top of my head I can think of many of his songs that I loved. Billie Jean, Thriller, Beat It, I’ll Be There… His music has definitely been part of my life soundtrack and will remain so.

Though later in his life he resorted to what can only be considered extremely weird behavior, not the least of which was the endless plastic surgeries designed to make him look more and more like a mannequin – as well as other activities that we aren’t going to discuss here – the fact is, the man brought music to the world. And that music touched millions world wide.

Farewell Michael Jackson – may you sing now with the angels.

To All the Telemarketers…

 (I’m pretty sure this ain’t what Willie & Julio had in mind. Ooops)

To all the telemarketers I’ve loved before
Who speed-dialed in and tricked the poor
I loathe they came along
I dedicate this song
To all the telemarketers I’ve loved before

To all the morons who once obsessed
And endeavored to harrass the best
For helping me to blow
I owe a lot, I know
To all the telemarketers I’ve loved before

The auto-dialers are always going
And every time I try to dodge or sway
The auto-dialers continue flowing
And they just blow me away

To all the telemarketers who’ve tried my life
Please go and bother someone else’s wife
I’ll never go along
I dedicate this song
To all the telemarketers I’ve loved before

To all the phone jerks who’ve taunted me
Who filled my nights with agony
They have no fucking heart
They’ll always be a part
Of all the telemarketers I’ve loved before

The auto-dialers are always going
And every time I try to stray
The dialers keep on blowing
And they just ruin my day

(come on, everybody, join in!)

To all the telemarketers we’ve loved before
Who rung us up a thousand times or more
We loathe they came along
We dedicate this song
To all the telemarketers we’ve loved before

Who suck wet mops and should lick the floor
Just get the fuck along
We dedicate this song
To all the telemarketers we’ve loved before.

tada!

Music To My Ears

 

La Flor of Mocha Buzz  has tagged me for a little meme.

It’s all about songs and one’s youth. LOL. Not sure I want to remember that far back, but I’m game. I’m also not sure I can get all nostalgic about the years of high school or even any of the songs during that time. But I did have some favorites that I managed to find:

Lean on Me – by Bill Withers – Aside from the fact that this was one of those sort of post-hippie songs and we were all into feeling the love for everyone (but dah man) – this is to me, a classic. It sounds as good today as it did then I think because it deals with the universal theme that we are not alone – we have friends, we have family and we can lean sometimes when we need to. I’ll admit, that I’m not much of a leaner and when I do, it usually feels a bit odd – but like the man says, ‘we all need somebody to lean on.’ Amen.

I Can See Clearly Now –  by Johnny Nash: There is something about this song that always gets me. It can mean so many things. But to me, it’s about revelations, whether personal or the big picture. It’s also a song of celebration – of being free from chains I guess, whether it be the chains of a love affair, small-mindedness, our own limiting thoughts. It’s all good. 

Let’s Stay Together – by Al Green: Ah, the Reverand Al Green, I could listen to this guy sing the phone book. Have you ever seen him perform? He takes such utter and complete joy in what he is doing, it makes you wish you could sing too. The song is a classic, about the common sense of staying in love, staying together, working it out. That things that are important are meant to last – and that making them last is worth the effort.

Heart of Gold – by Neil Young: I was never much of a Neil Young fan, aside from this song, the only other song of his I liked was Helpless. But again, a classic song that speaks to human frailty and the need to find love. For some reason, it always reminded me of my dad. Maybe it was the twangy voice of Young or the old fashioned theme of the song – but he definitely had a heart of gold.

 Without You – by Nilsson:  This song was so different from songs of its day – lots of big music, for such a little, simple song. And it was the perfect song to play when  your heart was broken. It fit so well with the teenaged angst I experienced most of  my young life and you could just scream your heart out as you sung along.

So… there you have it. The songs of my youth. Plus a cartoon that has absolutely nothing to do with this. 😉

I’m tagging:
Red
Reggie
Kenzie
Kathy
Michael

These are the rules:
1. Go to the Billboard #1 Hits listings (scroll down and you’ll seen them separated by decades on the left in the sidebar)
2. Pick a year you were in high school
3. Get yourself nostalgic over the songs of that year
4. Pick 5 songs and write something about how these songs affected you
5. Pass it on to 5 more people

The Gee-Golly Finale

 

Okay, so now the new American Idol is the screechy girl. Too bad, I was pulling for beat-box boy. At least he was interesting. She’ll become a compliant little diva and probably sell out concerts for little girls who dream of being the next big voice on Idol too. Providing it’s still around by then.

 I have to say this finale, left me a bit cold. They seemed more interested in pimping their causes and showcasing other artists than what I thought the show was supposed to be about. We actually barely saw the contestants and when we did, they were usually singing back up or something. They actually gave a solo spot to Sanjaya, so he could assault us, yet again with his inept and off key stylings of a rock song. I don’t think I can ever listen to it again without cringing. In fact, I’ve forgotten what it was I was so traumatized by his shredding of it.

The best part of it (and honestly, the only reason I watched) was Taylor and his jacket. At least the guy has a pulse and tried to get people up on their feet. Is it me, or was the audience just made up of celebrities, their relatives and relatives of the American Idol folks?

And the report card section with old Clive was more like a public bashing then what I think it was supposed to be. Why didn’t he just say, “All hail the bald bag of angst and the country Barbie Doll,” and leave it at that? And I’m just curious but how is it a Barbie Doll (clutching the mike stand for dear life, lest she fall off the stage) can sell 6 million fricking albums? I don’t get it. And who told her she could sing, “I’ll Stand By You” with any authority? Some songs can not be countrified and that’s one of them.

One more thing – Greenday (is that their name?) might want to g**gle Bob Dylan, he did it first and oh so much better. What passes as deep and profound songs these days don’t reach me – I mean, what does a kid with too much eyeliner and bad hair know about the working class? Over my head to be sure.

So congrats to Screechy Girl – you’ll be an American Idol diva in no time with a nice, generic diva album that little girls will buy in the millions. I have a feeling though, that Beat-Box Boy will do better – at least I’ll be buying his album – gotta love the dark horse and somebody who just does their own thing.

I shudder to think what next year’s Idol will produce. The recent compulsion to do spin off after spin off of the show tells me that the magic is starting to tarnish. Maybe we’ll luck out and “So You Think You Can Dance” will take center stage. Could happen.

What’s your take?

WC

Lover You Don’t Treat Me No Good No More

Sonia Dada is a weird name for a band – still, I have loved them for years. Their harmonies are incredible – and you can really hear them since they only use instruments to accompany themselves as opposed to blaring over them. I hope you love them too. Enjoy!

WC

What’s Your Favorite?

We all have our favorite Christmas movies – you know the ones that it just isn’t Christmas without? Some of us have our favorite hated Christmas movies (for the bah humbugs among us) which can be fun too.

These are mine:

It’s a Wonderful Life: Jimmy Stewart learns that each man does indeed touch many lives in many ways.

The Bishop’s Wife: David Niven learns that love and family trumps having the biggest, grandest cathedral in the neighborhood.

Love Actually: Hugh Grant finds love as a big surprise.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn: A tearjerker you will never forget.

White Christmas: Bing Crosby, lots of great show tunes and a sweet act of kindness to a forgotten man.

Serendipity: Does fate really exist? Do people really have soulmates?

The Santa Clause: Can a cynic really become the most beloved character in the world?

The Christmas Carol: Can a man’s heart be turned from stone to gold?

How the Grinch Stole Christmas: The Who’s are irrestible, even to a green, crochety monster.

Miracle on 34th Street: Faith and belief can change your life.

Christmas in Connecticut: A Martha Stewart who can’t cook gets the handsome soldier in the end.

Holiday Inn: Singing and dancing together makes for true love.

The Family Man: Seeing what the road not taken would have made your life.

Surviving Christmas: Buying a family for Christmas is more complicated than it seems.

The Ref: Who needs a marriage counselor when a small time crook can solve all your relationship woes?

Those are mine. What’s yours? And why?

WC

Me, Wild-Heidi & Taylor Hicks

You may not be aware of the fact that I am a rabid Taylor Hicks fan. (Well, maybe not rabid since I wouldn’t bite anybody.) It all started when I happened to catch a couple of American Idol auditions last winter. This guy caught my eye. Stood out as something special. Not because of his grey hair or his rumpled cuteness but because it seemed to me he reached deep when he belted out those few words in the audition. I decided I would watch the show as long as he remained a contestant. Little did I know what a phenom he would turn out to be.

Long story short, I like (apparently) millions of other women became completely enamored of this grey-haired dude and my (our) life became all about Tay-Tay. Yep, it was all Taylor all the time. Soon, I was seeking out other Taylor fanatics online and actually ended up making a few friends. Most notably: Bobo, Wild-Heidi, Uni & Trish. It was cah-raze-ee! We spent endless hours on message boards, IMing about the latest, visiting sites like graycharles.com, swapping pics, videos, blah, blah, blah. Hey I finally got to be 16 and it was fricking great! Then…

Yay! He won.

It turned out that Wild-Heidi lived in California too, so we hooked up. The incessant Taylor-Talk continued. We were going to stalk him and find him and I don’t know – we never really talked about what we’d actually do if we met him. Anyway, at some point, we decided it would be too long before he put a solo concert together so we thought we’d better go see the Idol concert when it came to town. Intense conversation on the phone, tickets selected and bought online. Then all we had to do was wait…….

Yesterday, the day had finally arrived. We were going to see Taylor. We were both so hyped up that neither of us really slept. We left for Orange County (concert was in Anaheim) a mere 4 hours early. We had lunch. Then we zipped over to the stadium. Still an hour & a half to concert time, we hung by the tour busses in hopes of catching a glimpse of our obsession. No luck. We did see Kelli, Cat, Elliott & Paris. I was utterly amazed at how tiny they all were. They looked so much bigger on television. And btw, Kelli and Paris really are beautiful young women, startling so.

Wild-Heidi was disappointed that we didn’t catch site of “T” but I said, ‘hey, maybe he’ll dance down our aisle or something. could happen?’ We went in. The place was packed and though the a/c was jacked to the max I was sweating my brains out.

We found our seats and Wild-Heidi made friends with everybody in our quandrant of the stadium. There was picture swapping, binocular sharing, fangirly screams and dancing. Yep, we were having a grand old time. But oh, the wait. Not that the other kids weren’t great, they were. But, I paid $150 to see Taylor – that was all I was interested in. Wild-Heidi and I conserved our energy for him.

Just after intermission the lady sitting next to us whispered that she heard Taylor was in fact going to be dancing down our aisle. I told Wild-Heidi and worried she would need an oxygen tank if she didn’t start breathing soon.

The lights dimmed – we watched the stage and eyed the aisle alternately. Back and forth. Forth and back. Just when we thought he wasn’t really going to be dancing down the aisle, we heard him to our left. OMG! There he was! Yep, right there – 3 feet away from me. He was reaching out and touching people and I put out my hand and managed to graze his arm. I touched him. Yeoooowwwooooooohhooooooooooooooooo! Okay, that definitely made my night. Wild-Heidi got a little vaklemped because she was trying to manage the digital camera and the camera cell phone at once and got a ‘ghost’ of a pic.

Then we screamed our heads off, danced the Carltong, yelled, clapped, hopped and sang! It ended way too soon. Way too soon. But what great fun it was while it lasted.

Right after the concert, we rushed to the tour busses, where they fenced us back like we were in fan-zoo’s and we waited. People pushed and leaned and poked and nuggled but me and Wild-Heidi held our own. We stayed up front. We were ready, we had our CD’s, ticket stubs for signing (actually I wore a white shirt for signing- I know, crazy, huh?). But, it was not meant to be. Taylor was whisked away to another engagement after we barely caught a glimpse – and we had waited over an hour just for that. Happily, I did get my shirt signed by Mandisa, Paris and Kelli. All beautiful, all very sweet young women.

We topped the evening off by going to a gas station mini-mart, buying a couple of warm diet cokes and making the long drive home. Wild-Heidi is still a little miffed at Tay for not stopping and saying hi to us, but she’ll cheer up once we plan our next Taylor caper. Hehee, oh yes she will.

By the way ladies, Taylor is unbelievably handsome in real life. Knocks you flat on your arse. I promise, no lie.

WC