One Feisty Blog

Background pictures courtesy of Laila

Friday, June 16, 2006

Those Oldies But Goodies Remind Me of You: Top 8 REALLY Old School Artists

I've made an executive decision. The month of June is hereby officially deemed Music-Related Top 8 List Month here at One Feisty Blog.

I know I made tantalizing references to creating a Top 8 List of the more modern music that I enjoy, but I've decided to save that for last. I've decided to go back before I go forward.

This list takes me back to the days when we were kids, sitting in the back seat of the trusty old Dodge Dart with the brown vinyl bench seats, held captive by my fuddy-duddy Dad's music selections. We thought we were being deprived because Dad wouldn't let us listen to KISS--we didn't realize then that our horizons were being broadened. We didn't realize that listening to the The Platters or The Inkspots instead of Guns n' Roses or Whitney Houston would give us something to talk about with a generation we'd have nothing in common with otherwise. We didn't realize that listening to Hank Williams and Benny Goodman would help us understand part of our history. It might not have made me cool to listen to the Beach Boys and The Righteous Brothers in High School, but I'm glad I chose them over The New Kids on the Block.

I know most of you may not have heard of some of these artists, but trust me when I tell you that they're worth checking out. You may not enjoy every single artist on the list, but if you fall in love with just one song that speaks to you and becomes part of the soundtrack of your life, it's worth it. Broadening your horizons is a Good Thing, especially where music is concerned.

1.) Nat "King" Cole

2.) Glenn Miller

3.) Buddy Holly

4.) The Everly Brothers

5.) Patsy Cline

6.) Roy Orbison

7.) The Mills Brothers

8.) Etta James

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Give a Little, Help a Lot

There was a time in my life, mercifully brief in the scheme of things, when I felt like I had only two friends in the world: my cat and my books. It seemed like the only place I could get any peace at school was in the Library with its uncomfortable chairs, new blue carpet, and shelves full of undiscovered treasures. Marge, the cranky librarian left me alone because my dad taught at the same school and she knew if she picked on me, he'd hear about it. I was left in peace to read dozens of Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden books, and a long forgotten favorite called, I think, The House of Thirty Cats. The mean girls didn't pick on me in the Library, I forgot about my bad skin and my mysterious boy-repellant force field. Life was good in the Library.

Every kid, every person, should have a sanctuary where they can escape the pangs of everyday life and find a little peace, a little adventure, a little magic. This is true for everyone, but especially true for people who are having a particularly tough time dealing with what life throws their way.

Hurricane Katrina destroyed many things, many lives, more than we can comprehend. Some kind Internet folks of my acquaintance are attempting to help several Gulf Coast libraries that were affected by the hurricane last summer. They are spearheading a donation drive to replenish the libraries in Harrison County, Mississippi. Since kid-level and flood-level tend to share the same space, several of these libraries lost their entire Children's Literature sections. That's just not right!

Please visit and read the discriptions of the libraries and their needs. If one inspires you, please take a look at their wish list and send a book their way. I know I don't have many readers, and that most of my readers don't have many dollars to spare. But if you have ever found solace in books, maybe you can forgo the popcorn and soda next time you go to the move theater and donate a book or two instead. If you spend more than $25 on books, shipping is free. Even if you can't afford to donate, please tell a friend (preferably a rich friend) and spread the word about this book drive. You'll never know how many lives will be touched, or how many dreams will be inspired, by just one book.
And remember, donating books is good Karma!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Big News, Mixed Feelings

A few days ago Ty announced that something big had come up and he needed to take a break from blogging so he could concentrate on his thesis for a while. He said I'd explain, so I guess that means I should probably stop babbling about music from the 1970s and clarify things.

To those of you who probably should have learned this from a personal phone call or email, I apologize. I'm still pretty overwhelmed about all of this, and I can't bring myself to do the repetitive retelling that would be required if I couldn't use this method of mass-announcement. (It's kind of like breaking a leg or wrecking your car or falling off a cliff. Even if it's an interesting story, it gets a little traumatic to have to tell it a jillion times.)

Steve is being transferred. We thought he'd be retiring (and we'd be moving to the Portland/Vancouver area) in 11 1/2 months. Instead, we're going to be spending four years in Aberdeen, Maryland. Steve has been selected for a non-volunteer assignment as the supervisor of the "Schoolhouse." He'll be like the principle of the tech school where the aircraft maintainers learn all kinds of fancy new ways to keep jets from falling out of the sky.

The good news is:

  • It's a safe, secure assignment--no deploying overseas, no long assignments in other states.
  • Steve will have an excellent opportunity to finish his Bachelor's degree on the Air Force's dime and maybe even (some of it) on the Air Force's time.
  • Having that degree should enable Steve to get a better civilian job than he could without it.
  • When he retires in October of 2010 (yikes), our monthly retirement check will be more substantial. Extra-substantial if he gets an additional promotion before he gets out, which has now become possible.
  • We might get to visit a few friends on our road trip to the East Coast. Oh, and this way the Air Force pays for the move out there AND for the move back west when he retires.
  • Living in Maryland will make it easier and cheaper for us to travel along the eastern seaboard and explore the only section of our country that I haven't visited.

The bad news is:
  • We just bought our big, beautiful house last fall. Selling it this summer means we're going to lose money on it. I've played absentee landlord before, and the thought of doing so again gives me hives, so renting it out is not an option.
  • The cost of living on the East Coast is much higher than we're used to, and due to certain circumstances, I probably won't be looking for a job right away. We're going to be broke out there. We may not even have the cash to do the exploring that makes the move palatable, nor the frequent "back home" visiting that would keep me sane.
  • I'm not very good at being a military wife--I have common sense and a mind of my own. Steve likes me that way, but Uncle Sam doesn't. Living 60 miles from base as we do now has kept this factor from mattering much. We're going to be much closer and more involved out there, so I'm either going to have to learn how to shut up and color, or I'm going to need to go on a Fake Nice pill. Actually getting on board the stupidity train is not an option.
  • The thought of driving across the country with two miserable cats is my very own personal horror film come to life.
  • I'm homesick. Have been since I left the Portland/Vancouver area in the fall of 2002. Now it's going to be four years, not one, till I get to move back. I'm afraid the friendships I've had to put on hold and the friendships I've been hanging on to by a thread are going to disintegrate if I'm gone another four years. I know I'm capable of making new friends, but I like the old ones!
  • We're planning to start a family in the not-too-distant future. It breaks my heart to think of raising my babies a continent away from their grandparents. Even if it is temporary, it still stinks.

Ty is working on his thesis so he'll be freed up to a) help get ready to sell the house and move, and b) be able to look for a job so he can help mitigate the financial hardships living in a more expensive area is going to create. He is a very good brother, and I think if I had to do this without him I'd be in full meltdown mode for the next four years.

When I posted a while back about being swamped and distracted and unable to participate in the blogmunity as much as I'd like, I didn't even know about this Maryland business yet. You can probably guess that my posting (and more importantly, my ability to read and comment on other blogs) is going to be pretty sporadic for a while. Just know that this hurts me more than it hurts you.