I've written about this song before, but I haven't actually put Hugh Jackman's version of the song on my blog (Peter Allen's version here, danced by Ann Reinking and Erzsebet Foldi in Bob Fosse's film, All That Jazz).
Briefly, for those who haven't read about this song before, Hugh Jackman (right) won a Tony Award in 2004 for portraying Australian entertainer, Peter Allen, in the musical, The Boy From Oz. Peter Allen was "discovered" by Judy Garland and was also briefly married to her daughter, Liza Minnelli. Some who knew Peter Allen said that Jackman got Allen's mannerisms down pat.
This song is sung in the second act. Peter Allen, at this point in the story, has become a success, both in Australia and in
the United States. "Everything Old is New Again" is his performance at Radio City Music Hall, where he becomes "the
toast of the town." Click here to listen.
Choirs and singing are very important in Finland - and in my life. My Finnish grandparents met when my grandfather saw my grandmother singing in a choir.
While browsing through the internet this evening, I ran across Finnish Choral Complaining. The Chawed Rosin has a good introduction to this video:
Here’s another clever Finnish invention: complaints choirs. Anyone who
wants to can join the choir and submit complaints. Then the gripes are
set to music and performed for fellow citizens and videotaped to post
on the internet.
Tellervo Kalleinen is a Finnish video
artist who lives in Helsinki. Some time ago, she and her German-born
husband Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen were talking about the nature of
complaints how everyone makes them and no one likes to hear them.
“And I spontaneously got excited and I said to Oliver, you know in
Finnish vocabulary we have a word "vvalituskuoro" which literally means
complaints choir, and you use this in the situations where you feel
everybody's just complaining. And you might say "you are all like one
big complaints choir." And so very quickly we got this idea that hey we
should actually take this word very literally and make complaints
Kalleinen and her husband had been offered a residency at an arts
institute in Birmingham, England, and it was there that the first
complaints choir was born. The artists placed ads in local papers
inviting people to send in their complaints.
The choir was formed by some of the people who responded to the ads.
The gripes - like the quality of the singing voices -- varied wildly,
from shoddy town planning to too expensive beer. The experience
convinced Kalleinen that she'd tapped into a deep-seated and universal
need to complain - and to do it collectively. Next, she targeted
You can't get rich by working…and love doesn't last forever. Those
are the opening shots of a 6-minute ode to kvetching. Helsinki eclipsed
Birmingham by the sheer magnitude of its complaints.
“We had thought that the maximum number of complaints we can just
handle in a workshop is like 40 or something/Then we just started to
get in more and more people and finally we had 90 people, and of course
it was our principle not to say no for anybody, so what could we do
other than try to find a bigger rehearsal space than we had thought
been so amazingly generous with me – in so many ways that I could never name
them. One of those gifts is that God enabled me to preach and to teach.
Sometimes I would go back to my chair after a homily and think, ‘Wow! That was
good!’ But I know that the ‘goodness’ came completely from God, so I can take
no credit. If these homilies and lectures and sermons help people, I simply
thank God because God is the author and source of all that is worthwhile here. (From Father C's Bio page)
I've written before about Father C, about how welcoming and encouraging he was at
Mass (previous Father C posts here, here,
He's retired now, and living on the west coast. I read his former parish's
bulletin online, and, as far as I can tell, he hasn't been back here since he
retired almost two years ago.
I don't write about others with their real names on my blog. I'm going
to make an exception here because one of the parishioners put up a website with
many of Father C's homilies on it. I save them for days when I really
need encouragement. If you go look at the website, you'll find out who he
Father Phillip was the pastor of the Newman Center in Chapel Hill for 14
years. He's a wonderful preacher who also taught homiletics at Duke's
Divinity School. One wonderful aspect of his homilies is that he always
ends focusing on God. No matter how much he might be remonstrating the
community, he never stops there. He always ends pointing to God. Also, even when he is criticizing the community, he always includes himself.
He never condemns others leaving himself appearing unspotted. Another
thing I really appreciated was that he was very honest about himself - his
faults, his depression. He relies very much on God's grace and preached
that very strongly. I always went home feeling more hopeful and with
energy to try to do what God wants me to do.
I knew that I was going to miss him very much when he left - particularly his
homilies. One evening last year, I looked him up online to see if there
was anything about what he's doing now, and I found this website of homilies he's
given. I was very happy! I save them for times when I need
encouragement - particularly during my winter depression.
The most encouraging homily I remember, the one to listen to when you feel
that you can't be a Christian, that God wouldn't ever want to have anything to
do with you, when you feel that you were a mistake, created on one of God's off
days, is the homily
for Trinity Sunday, June 11, 2006 (or click on FatherPhillip.com, choose
Chapel Hill homilies, and choose June 11, 2006). I loved the homily at
the time, and I still remembered it unusually well.
I listened to it again this afternoon, and it's just as good as I
remembered. Not only that, but it also turned me around from what was
bothering me this morning to, instead, focus on God again.
I've added the link to my sidebar section on faith, for when, as dear
husband puts it, you need a Father Phillip "fix."
A few months ago, I mentioned listening to The Kid over and over again after an emotionally exhausting evening. The slow music and harmonies helped me to recenter myself. Last night, even though I really enjoyed singing in the concert, it exhausted me - so many people to pay attention to, so much going on, and the singing seemed to fly by. We sang with another choir so that just doubled the number of people to pay attention to.
While I was putting yesterday's post together, I listened to "Right Outta Nowhere," by Christine Kane, over and over again. I felt refreshed when I was done. This song has such hopefullness and encouragement. I like the line "Leap, and the net will appear," which, as she explains in the video, is a line she borrowed.
By the way, for anyone who is keeping score, this does NOT count as an angsty choir post. It counts as a post with a real life introduction, rather than just saying, "Here's a neat song I listened to over and over last night."
This evening's choir concert, I think, went well. I was nervous at first since I couldn't make last week's rehearsal, but I really enjoyed it! I'm quite hooked on choir at this point. [Older son, you can stop grinning now!][He predicted this would happen.]
I'm also quite tired so here are some more recent interesting links:
...The U.S. economy wastes 55 percent of the energy it consumes, and
while American companies have ruthlessly wrung out other forms of
inefficiency, that figure hasn’t changed much in recent decades. The
amount lost by electric utilities alone could power all of Japan.
A 2005 report by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found
that U.S. industry could profitably recycle enough waste
energy—including steam, furnace gases, heat, and pressure—to reduce the
country’s fossil-fuel use (and greenhouse-gas emissions) by nearly a
fifth. A 2007 study by the McKinsey Global Institute sounded largely
the same note; it concluded that domestic industry could use 19 percent
less energy than it does today—and make more money as a result...
Now, some colleges are crossing the final threshold, allowing men
and women to share rooms. At the urging of student activists, more than
30 campuses across the country have adopted what colleges call
gender-neutral rooming assignments, almost half of them within the past
Once limited to such socially liberal bastions as
Hampshire College, Wesleyan University, and Oberlin College,
mixed-gender housing has edged into the mainstream, although only a
small fraction of students have taken advantage of the new policies so
When we reported last week that Forgetting Sarah Marshall director Nick Stoller and writer/star Jason Segel had signed on to develop the next Muppet movie, I speculated that these would be the guys to get it right (”The early Muppet films were absolutely genius, but the last few failed due to an attempt to
dumb down the plot/jokes to appeal to young viewers”). Segel spoke with
MTV, and his views seemed to mirror my early thoughts.
“I’ve just grown a little disappointed with ‘Muppets in the Old West,’ ‘Muppets Under Water,’ and all these weird concept movies.
I just want to go take it back to the early 80’s, when it was about the
Muppets trying to put on a show. That’s what I’m trying to bring back,”
said Segel, who also wants to bring back the big name cameos of the
earlier films...“I remember thinking that Kermit was the original Tom Hanks - he was the everyman for a kid. I remember watching Kermit and
thinking ‘That’s what I want to do when I grow up.’ I don’t think I
realized he was a puppet...”
In everything that I've read about Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans, I haven't read about how the changes upstream contributed to New Orleans' problems. From Who should pay to protect New Orleans:
...These costs are a federal responsibility because benefits to the entire
nation, including massive engineering projects built in, and providing
direct benefit to, states as far away as North Dakota, have in the last
60 years transformed New Orleans from a city reasonably safe from
hurricanes to one dangerously vulnerable to them. These projects have
had an effect as great as sending saboteurs from 1,500 miles away to
dynamite Louisiana's levees.
analogy may sound like an overstatement, but it may be an
understatement. To understand the link between the High Plains and
Louisiana, one has to understand the Mississippi River system -- which
stretches from New York to Idaho and drains 31 states -- and the
sediment load the system carries. This sediment load was so great that
it changed the nation's geography. Sixty million years ago, the ocean
reached north to Cape Girardeau, Mo., but as the sea level fell, the
river dropped enough mud into what geologists call the Mississippi
Embayment to create all the land from Cape Girardeau to the sea, a
total of 35,000 square miles in seven states.
land-building process created Louisiana's coast, along with barrier
islands that provided a buffer protecting populated areas in Louisiana
and part of Mississippi's coast.
Human engineering has reversed
that process, causing the loss of roughly 2,000 square miles of land
since World War II. If this buffer -- equivalent to the state of
Delaware -- had not been destroyed, New Orleans would need little other
Numerous man-made actions have caused the land loss, but the most
important, yet least recognized, may be the decline of sediment in the
river. Dams built to provide electricity, irrigation and flood
protection in the Upper Midwest and High Plains are largely responsible
for the decline; sediment level is now only 30% to 40% of the natural
amount. A particular problem has been a series of dams on the upper
Missouri River beginning above Bismarck, N.D., and ending above
Yankton, S.D. Historically, roughly half of the total sediment load in
the Mississippi River came from the upper Missouri, but the dams
trapped that sediment upstream. According to the U.S. Geological
Survey, since the dams' construction in the 1950s, "the discharge of
sediment from the upper Missouri River basin virtually was stopped."
this sediment, Louisiana began losing land...
So many good musicians, so little time. That's part of why I started Musiclectic. I'm surprised that I've been writing Moomin Light for 2 1/2 years now, and I've only mentioned Lyle Lovett once, briefly, in a post about Eddie From Ohio.
Lyle Lovett is another one of my favorite singer/songwriters (along with Stan Rogers, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Nancy Griffith, the Indigo Girls, Dar Williams, Christine Kane...). His music is on the country side... well, except when it isn't. In 2003, he released an album of songs he's sung in movies (all covers), including "You've Got a Friend in Me" from Toy Story and "Mack the Knife" from Quiz Show.
Though the majority of his songs are country, Lyle Lovett doesn't limit himself to one kind of song, particularly not on this album. It includes songs from Irving Berlin, Ray Charles, Kurt Weill, Nat King Cole, Bob Segar, Randy Newman, and Burt Bacharach.
I don't necessarily like every song on Smile ~ Songs from the Movies but many of them are wonderful. My favorite, which I could listen to over and over again (although I try to be polite and not do so when anyone else is around (except for older son who doesn't get tired of songs)) is "I'm a Soldier in the Army of the Lord." It's so enthusiastic, and I love the way the piano bounces around at the end!
(Isn't the bass great?!)
Lyle Lovett's website. If you click on videos and listen to the first three, you'll get a preview of future Friday Fun Songs or songs that will be part of the Soundtrack in My Mind.
Team sports. If fashion was a stretch for me, the subject of team sports is a light year leap. I'm not all that good at figuring out what other people are thinking, and I'm certainly not good at doing that quickly. Team sports, where you have to figure out what all these people on two different teams are going to do?
I even had the requisite years of Phys Ed in public school to no avail (well, except to pull my GPA down). Even as a spectator, I'm bizarre. My favorite Olympic team sport is the four man bobsled.*,**
This may be the only traditional team sport post I ever write (though my post on Shyness and Self-Confidence did have a small Christine Lavin section*** (song) about baseball). The next part will be mostly quotes.
I have created a large number of imaginary worlds, beginning from
the first days of my fascination with maps. I made a quick transition,
from copying maps of the real world to creating ones from my own
As I was and am still a big sports fan, sometimes I created worlds
and then populated them with sports teams, and sometimes I made sports
teams and created worlds around them. The amount of time you can spend
managing an imaginary sports league is bounded only by the ability to
stay awake and free from other responsibilities on any given day...
But now one of those worlds has come back, not by my own efforts,
but from the prompting of my son. He loves imaginary sports teams, too,
though not as obsessively as I did, and when he got wind-- somehow--
about my Borschland Hockey League, and I told him it might be fun to
create a blog around it, he latched on to the idea and has made it
Official notice: Te staff sporttelegraaf
is born, the only blog in the entire world dedicated solely to
following the Borschland Hockey League. Now, the league has a proud
history of almost one hundred years-- these Borschers love their
hockey-- so the fact that the blog is new should not give the false
impression that the Borschic league is some upstart. By no means...
I love the description of the country:
Borschland is located on a phase-shifting continent in the southern
hemisphere, between Australia and the southern tip of Africa. It is
only intermittently visitable by the outside world, and during one of
those periods the territory that would become Borschland was colonized
by the Dutch, the Germans, and a few Belgians.
Being closer to Antarctica than any of the other parts of the
continent, Borschland's climate is conducive to hockey, and its
midsection, the rolling country between the sea and the mighty
Borschland River, is conducive to apple orchards. Thus, it is sometimes
called the land of brandy and pucks.
Given my total non-team-sportsishness, I have been a silent lurker. This week, BwP has summarized recent events:
...the great traditional powerhouse team, Te Staff, was unbeaten and seemed destined to win another championship.
The main reason for the team's success was the American hockey
player Sherman Reinhardt, who had lately begun a romance of sorts with
a local poetess.
Now we find that Sherm has disappeared without a trace, and so has the poetess.
What will happen? Anyone's guess, but the post
that broke the story of Sherm's disappearance has received a comment
beautifully envisioned and written by one Erki Turkommen, a Finnish
fisherman who sails out of the Borschic port of Onatten.
You can go over to the blog and get in on the fun. Be part of the
creative collaboration. Create a persona of your own who lives in
Borschland, or post as yourself and play tourist or eavesdropper.
Go check it out.
I know little about hockey, besides its
being the national religion of Canada. But music... that's another matter (grin). Enter: my very favorite folk singer, Canadian Stan Rogers. In his notes for his album, from fresh water, Stan Rogers introduces "Flying:"
...Competition is severe in the Junior leagues. Once every several years we get one like Gretzky. Flying is an allegory - it is also the very real story of a third round hopeful who once coached Gretzky and now coaches little leaguers and sells saunas.
The complete lyrics are here. Stan Rogers tells the tale with his usual poignancy:
...I tell them to think of the play and not of the fame.
If they've got any future at all, it's not in the game.
'Cause they'll be crippled and starting all over again
Selling on commission and remembering
When they were flying, remembering dying.
And every kid over the boards listens for the sound The roar of the crowd is their ticket for finally leaving this town To be just one more hopeful in the Junior A. Dreaming of that miracle play. And going up flying, going home dying.
* Or the relays - cross country, swimming, running. But those are closer to individual sports, which is where my interest lies (gymnastics, skiing, running, diving, luge, etc.). My favorite Olympic event is a pairs one - Ice dancing, of course!
** I also find curling interesting because it is so unlike anything else in the Olympics.
*** Small section of the post, not small Christine Lavin, though she is my height.
According to the Telegraph,
fashion magazines now not only employ the familiar trick of skinnifying
and plasticizing unacceptably fleshy actresses and models, but also use
the magic of Photoshop to plump up other women whose images might be
unacceptably thin now that concerns about the effect of ultra-thin models
is finally maybe starting to be taken just a little bit seriously. Not
seriously enough to use bigger models, mind you, but seriously enough
to photoshop a little more T&A on the ones they do use.
They have a link to a company that does the retouching. As Shapely Prose continues:
That portfolio is a glorious example of the impossible beauty
standard: Kelly Clarkson has been shrunk, while Julia Stiles has been
filled in; Beyonce’s hips have been redrawn to erase a muffintop, while
Eva Longoria’s hips have been curved up and out. Looking through all
these photos, I get the eerie feeling that they’ve stolen flesh from
one woman only to add it to another.
This is the quintessential operation of the beauty “ideal”: it is just that, an idea, sold to us as something to strive for not despite but because it is impossible. Even the women who look like that don’t look like that!
To look at the portfolio, click here (caution, site is flash-heavy), then click on Portfolio. Go down to the two rows of photos and click on one to see the retouching. When your mouse arrow is over the photo, that's the un-retouched photo. The retouched photo appears when you take the mouse arrow away from the photo. Click on the photo again to finish viewing.
The ones that remove all wrinkles and skin irregularities, to me, leave the people looking Stepford. I was very tired the first time I looked at it so I have to admit I amused myself by going back and forth and watching body parts pop in and out (particularly the 5th one on the second row).
The sad thing is they all look great without retouching, but after seeing the retouching, it's difficult to see the originals the same way again.
It makes me glad I'll never be famous!
* From "When I Was a Boy" by Dar Williams which deserves its own post someday so I won't put it on here.