Today’s Share Your World questions from Di can be found here:
Here are this week’s random questions
Do you have a lot of friends or do you know a lot of people?
I would say both. I have more “core” set of friends that I’ve known since my school years. I’ve also got friends from radio and work.
At the same time, all my years in radio allowed me to meet many people. I know people in law enforcement, local government, local retailers, and more.
I also know many people through friends who share my faith. Pastors, other bible students, and people I have met at bible conferences and online bible groups.
If you are at a party and know very few of the guests, do you mingle and introduce yourself, sit on the sidelines and people watch, or discreetly leave?
One of the things about working in radio was that I can strike up a conversation with almost anyone. I really enjoy talking to people. I love finding out things about them and finding things we have in common. However, there have been occasions where I have kept to myself. If I don’t feel comfortable, I will leave.
What is the best job you have ever had?
I don’t think that is a secret, especially if you know me. My radio job was the best! I got to do things and meet people I would have never done if it hadn’t been for that job. I’ve interviewed celebrities, hung out with famous singers, and met life long friends because of radio.
Can you swim?
Yes. I’ve always loved the water. Ironically, I hated swim class in gym. It was probably just the embarrassment of those awful swim trunks and having to to shower in front of other classmates. I also never really liked learning the various “strokes” they were trying to teach us. I was never going to be on the swim team, so I didn’t see the need.
As a kid, I never minded swimming in a lake or in the ocean. Today, I hate it. A comedian one said “Fish function” in lakes and that really stuck with me. I hate when one actually brushes up against me while swimming now!! I’ll stay in a pool, thank you.
I truly need to organize the funny things that Ella says (and funny stories in general) and keep them in a book. Here are just a couple examples:
Sam was getting the kids ready for bed this week. She was trying to get them in the bathroom to brush their teeth. The following conversation takes place:
Sam: Ella get in here and brush your teeth.
Ella: I don’t got no sugar bugs I don’t need to brush my teeth.
Sam: Ella everyone has sugar bugs every single day. Get in here and brush your teeth before the sugar bugs eat all your teeth and make them fall out.
Ella: Mommy, I think I want that! Then the tooth fairy comes!
That story ties in with another incident that happened today. Sam showed Ella a picture of herself as a baby. She had a pacifier (She called it a Nini) in her mouth. (Side note: When we took her Nini away, we told her the Nini Fairy comes to all the big kids who no longer need a Nini and takes it to give it to other babies who need them.)
Ella: Is that the baby who got my Nini?
Sam: No, that is you when you were a baby with your Nini
Ella: The Nini Fairy and the Tooth Fairy are the same! They both take your stuff!!
Here is a story that I am not proud of, but I know all parents can relate. I was with the kids at Menards getting supplies for painting. My best friend, Jeff, called and we were shooting the breeze and catching up. While we’re on the phone, Ella is babbling away. Jeff chuckled and said, “You wait so long for them to start talking and then they just keep on talking!!”
This led to talk about how fast kids grow up. He mentioned that his daughter would soon be heading off to college, and he’s not gonna know what to do in the “empty nest.” I don’t remember exactly what he said that made me react this way (maybe it was the cost of room and board at the college, I honestly can’t recall), but I said out loud (and oblivious that I was with my kids), “Son of a bitch!” You can only guess what happened next….
Ella thought that was pretty funny and began to repeat it. At first, I wasn’t sure that I had actually heard what I thought I heard. However, after a couple more times of her saying it, it became even more clear.
Me: Don’t say that, baby, that’s a bad word
Ella: (Says it again)
Me: Ella, don’t say that honey, that is not a word that you should say.
Ella: You said it, Daddy
Me: (Now feeling really bad) I know, but Daddy shouldn’t have said it either.
Ella: Why not?
Me: Because it is a bad word
Ella: (Repeats it again as we are standing in the check out line)
Never a dull moment!!
Ella is playing with fake veggies. Sam and I tell her we are going to put in a garden this year. So she starts talking about the veggies we should plant:
Ella: “We can plant cucumbers, lettuce, peppers, zucchini, bananas, hot dogs, and mac and cheese…..”
Anyone know how to harvest mac and cheese??
The above was taken at the Father Daughter Dance earlier this month
I literally finished this book in a day and half. I really found it to be thought provoking, and at the same time it was based on something I have always believed.
I have said on here before that I am who I am today because of all I have been through. Every decision I have ever made has brought me to this point. I found a chart that illustrates what I mean. Pay no attention to the words on it, but look at the various “flow”.
You face a decision. You make a decision and that sets you off on one path (or chain). If you had made a different decision, you would set off on a different path (or chain). Perhaps those paths would cross or intersect occasionally. It is also possible that you might wind up in the same place at the end, who knows? The point is that in our life time, we make millions of decisions and each decision will lead to millions or billions of outcomes. That is sort of the premise of the book.
Synopsis from goodreads:
Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets? A novel about all the choices that go into a life well lived.
Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?
Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.
Barnes and Noble says this:
If you were presented with the opportunity to go back in time and change your life, would you? Matt Haig ponders this question in The Midnight Library, a story that follows Nora Seed as she is given a chance to redo her life. Hopeful and thought-provoking, this novel will change your perspective on your own life.
The Midnight Library is a beautiful book with a clever concept, masterfully executed by Matt Haig. It is easy to read, full of great quotes, smart references, and even some poems and lyrics Nora wrote in her other lives. The book draws from many genres and will make you think deeply, not just about the lives you could lead, but also about the one you do. A magnificent thought experiment with a wonderful conclusion.
When I saw this book on a “recommendation list,” I read the above descriptions. I felt that I could relate to the basic premise, especially because of my thoughts on who I am today and how the various decisions I made in life got me here. From the moment I began the book, I was hooked.
The story follows Nora Seed, a British woman in her mid-30s, who is deeply depressed. One night, she decides to commit suicide, but the overdose of sleeping pills sends her into a library between life and death. As time stands still, Nora gets to sample countless lives she could have lived.
This also hit home to me as I was once at the same point as Nora. Granted, I never got the point of actually attempting suicide, but my thoughts were certainly there. I remember thinking how no one would miss me if I was gone. I recall believing that I was more of a burden to people than anything. I was feeling so much depression and unhappiness, I didn’t think I would ever get out of that.
Spoiler Alert (sort of)
One review of the book offered these three lessons learned from the book:
You could live a million lives and still not be satisfied.
Your “best” life may still not be the right one for you to go through.
Life won’t always give you an explanation, so just go on living.
The book was an easy read, yet at the same time made me think. This is the first book by Matt Haig I have ever read, but I think I may have to check out what else he has to offer. I think you will enjoy it if you give it a read.
Not too long ago, I read a book called Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz. It led me to read a few of his other books. In this first blog, I wrote about it:
I did read his Sherlock Holmes book, which I really enjoyed. Here is the blog about that:
I have come to really enjoy Anthony Horowitz’s books a lot. I have especially enjoyed his Hawthorne/Horowitz novels. They are very Sherlock Holmes/Dr. Watson-ish in that Horowitz is the Watson character and Hawthorne is the Holmes character. They are very well written murder mysteries. I started with the first book – The Word is Murder. Next in the series is The Sentence is Death.
That was followed by A Line To Kill.
I just finished that one and so far, it was my favorite.
I ordered the fourth book in the series from the library, but it hadn’t come in yet, so I grabbed another one of his books. The Magpie Murders.
This was an interesting read. It begins with a woman publisher who is handed a book from an author. She states that the book changed her life. In order for the reader to understand why, you read the book. So it is a book within a book. The catch is that the final chapters to the author’s book are missing. The author dies and the publisher sets out to find them and the things she discovers are all very familiar to what she read. The way things all come together was actually neat and satisfying.
(Personal note: I was kind of happy that I actually guessed the murderer correctly!)
The fourth Hawthorne book (above) is now in my possession and I will read after I finish the one I am currently reading. I hope it will be as exciting as the ones I have read from him already. I plan on reading more of his stuff for sure.
Our wedding anniversary was this past Sunday. Five years! Sam had to work Sunday, and we had both taken a day off to celebrate. She took Monday off and I took yesterday. Originally, the plan was to take a little overnight trip somewhere. However, after much talk, we decided that there were things we could do around the house that we have put off for a long time. Having the kids and Nana and Papa’s was going to make it a lot easier!
When I first moved in with Sam, she had a couple racks on the wall where she hung her clothes. There is no closet in the bedroom. As I recall, we were sleeping one night and one rack pulled out of the wall and fell to the floor. We pulled the other rack off, too, and it left a few holes in the wall. I patched them – years ago – with the intention of sanding and repainting. That never happened – until this week.
On Monday afternoon, Sam dropped the kids off and I pulled all the furniture out of the bedroom. Our intention was to paint it with a color we had intended for the kitchen (and never used), but Sam and I decided it might be a bit too dark. So when she got back, we went to dinner and then ran to Menard’s for paint.
We decided on dinner at our favorite steak house. Both of us ordered Filet Mignon and enjoyed actually having some face time together. It was so nice to have kid free conversation with each other. It felt like forever since we have been out to eat together.
Menard’s is right down the road from Lucky’s, so we stopped there and looked at paint swatches. The bedroom was a bright yellow color and we debated painting with the tan we had planned for the kitchen. We both knew that we wanted to stay with a light color because the room is already small. Sam found a yellow that is almost a cream color that we both liked. We bought the paint and went home.
Once we arrived at home, we donned our “paint” clothes and got to work. We both agreed before starting that we hate taping the room! What a tedious task! We also both stated our concerns about the color. You know how you see a swatch and think, “Oh, I like that” and then hate it when you see it on the wall?! The good news is, it looks good and we both like it!
Our hope was that we’d only need one coat of paint. It really dried quickly and only one wall needed a second coat. The only reason it did was that I had marked off some things on the wall to hang pictures and it bled through the paint. Once I put the second coat on, it looked great.
We had pulled the mattress off the bed and dragged it into the living room, which is where we slept. We left it out there and when the kids came home they thought it was a hoot to have the bed on the floor. We spent a lot of Tuesday all curled up on our bed watching TV and being silly. PRICELESS family time!
Sharing a Room
One big change for all of us was that we moved Andrew’s crib out of our room. He and Ella are now sharing a room. This could be a good thing or a bad thing. We’re working through this right now. Andrew will get up off and on through the night, and there is the fear that he will wake up Ella if he cries. Believe me, the last thing we need is both of them up in the middle of the night. Fingers crossed.
We’re already pretty sure that Andrew is a genius. Earlier today, I walked to their room and couldn’t believe what I saw. Andrew had pushed Ella’s bed close to his crib and was actually standing on the railing and was trying to climb into his crib. How he knew to do that, I just don’t know. The incident is one that assures us that there will be more ER visits in the near future.
We took the kids to get Spring pictures done on Friday. We got the pictures back on Monday and they came out SO good. Kudo’s again to Beth at Enjoy the View Photography for capturing precious moments with our kids.
The photo above is probably my favorite one of the two of them. Perfect smiles and I love that Ella is holding Andrew’s arm. They were both excited to take pictures with real bunnies!
They did so well with them. The bunnies were a bit skittish when they were taken out of the basket, but we still got some good shots. I love that Andrew loves to hug animals. He does it with our cat all the time. Beth caught him hugging the bunny –
What a wonderful picture! I just love how Ella is looking at Andrew here!
The past few days have been filled with plenty of amazing moments. I am so glad to have been able to share them with my beautiful wife and my kids.
I was approached by my blogger buddy, Max, from the PowerPop Blog recently and asked to contribute something for his “Beatles Week” feature. In truth, it will probably go longer than a week as there are many talented writers participating with me. I think his original thought was to have each of us write about a favorite Beatles song, but then he allowed us to pursue something “Beatle themed.”
I think I have mentioned in the past that it would be extremely difficult for me to pick one favorite Beatles song. There are just too many great ones to choose from. I could spend hours talking about the fantastic harmonies of the group or the amazing songwriting contributions of Lennon and McCartney. I could also examine the way George Harrison’s guitar playing matured as the group got older. Instead, I chose to focus on the Beatle that I connected with as a young fan discovering the band – Ringo Starr.
As a kid, I discovered the Beatles through their cartoon series (as well as albums that my dad had). While the boys didn’t voice the characters themselves, it featured many of their songs and put them in silly situations. Ringo always seemed to be the goofball and I guess I found him to be the funniest.
As I began to buy Beatles albums on my own, I often found that the “Ringo” cut of each album tended to really stand out as a favorite. Let me be clear, it is not that I disliked the other guys, the opposite was true. I loved them! However, the “Ringo” cut just really had a different sound to it.
As many know, Ringo was not the original drummer for the band. Pete Best was the guy. The rumors were that he was pretty good looking and a fan favorite, so they got rid of him. How true that is, I don’t know. The boys recruited Ringo from another band (Rory Storm and the Hurricanes). Once the group got their recording contract and started sessions with George Martin, Ringo was dissed a bit. Martin felt that he was not a good enough drummer to do studio work. Eventually, Martin came around and not only was he in the recording sessions, he occasionally got to sing on a song or two.
In total, Ringo Starr sang lead vocals on 11 Beatles songs. The first was “Boys,” which was a cover of a Shirelles song. The song was one that the Beatles had been playing in their live shows for some time. Pete Best used to sing it in shows. Ringo knew the song and had performed it many times with his previous group. When the band was in the studio cutting the 1963 album “Please Please Me” he sang it in one take.
The group had been playing “Boys” for years before it was ever recorded. It was the only song that Ringo sang lead on and his loyal fans wanted to hear more. John, Paul, and George were getting tired of the song and when it was time to record their second album, Lennon and McCartney worked together to write a song for Ringo that would replace “Boys.” The song would be “I Wanna Be Your Man.”
Before they went into the studio, another British group approached Lennon and McCartney and asked if they had a song that they might record. They decided to give them “I Wanna Be Your Man.” That song became the first “hit” for Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones!
Carl Perkins was responsible for Ringo’s next two vocal songs. First, was “Matchbox” which Perkins had a hit with in 1957. This song (and his next vocal) was responsible for the association of Ringo with rockabilly/country music. Word is that Perkins was in the studio while the Beatles recorded his songs.
For the 1964 album “Beatles For Sale,” Ringo contributed the lead vocal to Perkins’ “Honey Don’t.” Carl Perkins influenced a lot of Liverpool bands and Ringo was playing this one in his prior group before joining the Beatles. It was another song that Pete Best sang lead on in early live performances. John Lennon began singing it after Best left, but the band agreed that it was a perfect Ringo song for the album.
Ringo had decided that he wanted to have a bit more input in the songs that he was to sing. During the recording sessions for “Help” in 1965, he came upon the Buck Owens song “Act Naturally.” He brought it to the band and said he felt it would be a great song for him. They all agreed and cut it. This would mark the first Beatles cover song that they had not already been playing at live shows.
Ringo, while not best known for his song writing, did write a few for the band. By this time, John, Paul and George were all churning out songs. The three seemed to be doing everything and Ringo felt like he was being left out and maybe even someone who could easily be replaced. He went to the group and voiced his concerns. This led to his first song writing credit on a Beatles song. The song was What Goes On. The song was not all Ringo, as it was actually a song that John had originally written and Ringo tweaked and contributed to.
Yellow Submarine appeared on the 1966 Revolver album. It was a big song for Ringo as it went to #1 in the UK and #2 in the US. In Alan Clayson’s book, “Ringo Starr: Straight Man or Joker,” he says that the song was “conceived as a song that would appeal primarily to children, while recalling the band’s roots in Liverpool.” The song was written mostly by Paul McCartney and it is said that Donovan also helped (while being uncredited).
If you had to pick a “signature” song for Ringo, it would be “With a Little Help from My Friends.” The song is the second track on the Sgt. Pepper Album. The album itself was sort of a concept album where the band is playing … well, another band. In the album’s opening track, the character of Billy Shears is introduced. Even Ringo has stated that for the cut he is “taking on” the character of Shears to sing the song. The song was one that was written specifically for Ringo by John and Paul.
Ringo’s next vocal feature was one that he wrote. “Don’t Pass Me By” was one that came to him while sitting at the piano. He claims to only know a few chords on the piano and guitar. He says that while he plays around, if a melody comes to him or some words, he just keeps playing around. This is supposedly how “Don’t Pass Me By” came to be. There is some confusion as to when exactly the song was written, and while it may have been written as early as 1964, it was never recorded and released until 1968 on the White Album.
Alan Clayson says in his book that Ringo had unknowingly plagiarized music from a Jerry Lee Lewis song. It was only when George Martin was experimenting with different effects and orchestration that the song was able to be released (now sounding very musically different from it’s original version).
The song “Good Night” from the White Album was written by John Lennon. He wrote it for his five year old son, Julian. Lennon was very insistent that the song be sung by Ringo. What is interesting is that Ringo is the only Beatle who performs on the song. The music is provided by classical session musicians under the direction of producer George Martin.
Ringo’s last songwriting credit for the band appears on the 1969 album, Abbey Road. Many compare “Octopus’s Garden” to “Yellow Submarine.” Other’s compare it to an amazing and peaceful under-the sea world. This song, however, was written by Ringo at a time when things were less than peaceful with the group.
The story goes that Ringo was so angry that he walked out of a recording session because he was angry at Paul McCartney. Paul had reportedly been making comments about Ringo’s drumming, and so he left. He spent time relaxing on the Italian island of Sardinia. While there, he became fascinated by the ocean and sea life. This led to him writing the song.
When Ringo returned to the Abbey Road studios, he found that the rest of the band had decorated his drum set with flowers and found a gift from John, Paul and George as an apology. He showed the song to them and George Harrison worked with him to get the song ready to record.
After the Beatles broke up, each went on to have solo hits. Ringo enjoyed success with “Back off Boogaloo,” “Photograph,” “You’re Sixteen,” “The No No Song,” and “It Don’t Come Easy.” He continues to tour with his All-Starr Band and sells out venues.
“Peace and Love” – Ringo Starr
Perhaps if world leaders, politicians, and people in general listened to Ringo, the world would be a better place.
I’ve been struggling to write. I’m sure it is because I have had a lot of things on my mind over the past couple weeks. The things on my mind are not necessarily things I want to write about. It’s hard to be in this place. I’m still struggling to get through it, and pray that everything will be ok. That being said, I decided to sit and write about some happy things from the past few days.
I usually only play on the X-box when the kids are asleep. Recently, I was in the middle of a game and Andrew woke up from his nap. I paused the game, went and got him, and spent two minutes finishing the silly car race. He loves the controllers of the game. Another time, Ella was done with her nap and came in to the bedroom where she saw me playing “the car game.”
Now, Andrew will grab a controller and point to the bedroom. He wants to play the game. Ella does, too. So I pulled the batteries out of two controllers and they hold them while I drive around. They, of course, think they are playing! It’s fun to watch them.
Too Many Tonies?
Remember a while back I mentioned the Tonie that the kid’s Aunt Margaret sent? We have ordered a few more to play on it. I guess we didn’t realize how many we had until we lined them up on the mantle.
Many of them have songs, some have stories, and some have both. It has been so nice and has helped keep the TV time down to a minimum. If you have little ones, it is worth every penny!
Too Many Ninis and the Genius of Andrew
From my wife’s Facebook:
Andrew is only suppose to have his pacifiers at bedtime. All of a sudden we were missing a TON of his pacifiers. There was none left in the diaper bag or his crib… yet all day long he would show up with one and we are constantly taking them from him.
Tonight while cleaning I found out that my brilliant child at 1 years old has hidden his pacifiers throughout the house. I have found 6 of his hiding places. I’m not even mad, I am truly impressed!
I swear, he is a genius. He plants them everywhere and knows exactly where to get one when we take one away!
Our photographer friend, Beth (From Enjoy the View Photography), had Spring “Mini” sessions this week. We booked a session for just the kids. Originally, we were going to have them dress up like in Easter attire. Sam decided that she was going to have Ella in the outfit she was in for her birthday, and match Andrew up with her in some overalls. They looked so cute together!
As a bonus, Beth had real live bunnies for the session. Ella was so excited when she heard about them. We didn’t really know what to expect, but I think we were able to get some good pictures. We’ll know soon. I snapped just one that has a funny story to go with it.
Beth had a bag of carrots to feed the bunnies. The carrot that is in Andrew’s mouth, was just in the bunny’s mouth about two seconds before I snapped this. Well, at least it is a healthy snack!
Fab Four Week
I took part in a feature hosted by Max at the PowerPop Blog about the Beatles. The feature continues for the next few days. His idea was to write about your favorite Beatles song – or anything Beatles related. My write up gives a nod to one of the boys. Which one? Watch for the post in the next day or two.
My Guest Ideas
Last week I mentioned that I was thinking about hosting something similar to what Max is doing and what Dave does with Turntable Talk. I am still trying to think about whether I want to do something music, movie or TV related. Stay tuned…..
In the almost 5 years that Sam and I have been married, we have never had matching outfits. Ok, there was one year we had matching Christmas Pajamas, but they don’t count. I think holiday PJ’s are totally ok, especially for photos and Christmas cards. However, I highly doubt that you will ever see Sam and I together in outfits like the ones pictured above.
Apparently, matching outfits were “a thing” back in the day. When I did a Google search for “Silly Matching Outfits” there were plenty of horrific photos that popped up. Here is another one –
REALLY!? Those are just terrible!! And this one is even worse –
It seems that the above is bedroom attire, but are matching PJ’s a thing? I don’t know.
Let me say that I do think it is ok to have kids match for pictures. My mom and dad obviously dressed my brother and I in the same suits one Easter –
Ella and Andrew had matching PJ’s for our Christmas photos and they were cute. Again, these were for a holiday shoot.
When we did family photos not too long ago, we all wore something that complimented the other outfits, but they were not matching outfits. We’re getting ready to have the kids pictures taken again for Easter and the outfits will certainly go together, but won’t be exact.
I say all of this because Sam and I will never EVER be seen in outfits like this –
….. unless it is for Halloween! However, we will match in another way.
While out shoe shopping this weekend, she mentioned wanting to get a pair of “Hey Dude” shoes. I had no idea what these were. She found the ones she wanted and on the way to the register, she saw they had them in men’s sizes, too. She wanted me to try them on. I hesitated, but I did. They were actually really comfortable. So I bought a pair … and yes, we match!