Friday, August 29, 2008

A Moment To Think About McCain's Plans

Population of Alaska = 683,478

Populations of some of the closest cities in actual number of people =

11 San Jose, CA 782,000
12 Baltimore, MD 736,000
13 Indianapolis, IN 731,000
14 San Francisco, CA 724,000
15 Jacksonville, FL 635,000
16 Columbus, OH 633,000
17 Milwaukee, WI 628,000
18 Memphis, TN 610,000
19 Washington, DC 607,000
20 Boston, MA 574,000

* taken from the official Census web site *

So John McCain picked someone who has only gone through one budget submission process in a state with less people in it than San Francisco and this is a good pick?! Color me confused but I have to call shenanigans on this one. He could have at least picked someone like Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Senator from Texas who actually has experience dealing with the kind of legislation that happens at the level that she'll be working at if elected. But, I guess the blank slate idea of the Alaska Governor trumps the experienced senator from Texas any day as long as they're both female.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

What I Have To Put Up With To Hang Out With My Friends On A Saturday Night

Have you ever had one of those things that you just really can't get into? No matter how much you try to think good and happy thoughts about an event, you just can not pull from yourself the necessary amount of joy that says that you like or enjoy the goings on? I do have such a thing and I think that I am going to be forever damned to have to put up with it's existence every month or two.

This evil that makes me wish to leave the building at a rapid rate? Karaoke.

I can already hear what you're saying. "It's not that bad," or "It's all in good fun," or "Don't be a party pooper." You can all definitely say those things but they still won't get me to even smile when I'm involved in anything that requires karaoke to go on. It is just too painful to have to put up with for too long.

For example, they might be having a good time but there should seriously be a rule about being able to only choose songs that might be in your vocal range on your good day. There were a couple people in the bar that I was in last night that sounded worse than they should have because they just had to pick that Celine Dion song that they love to sing along to on the way to work. Your steering wheel might not be willing to tell you but I would seriously like to say that, if a song makes you sound like a dying harp seal when you come near to any of the high notes, it might be time to check out the songs in the mid range.

Another wonderful bit of karaoke that makes my skin crawl are those people that might know the words but seem to have no mental or physical concept of a song's rhythm. There was a guy last night who sang his all-time favorite Johnny Cash song, which I know because he spent the 10 minutes before his turn, the time during the song's intro, the moment after the song ended, and then the next 30 minutes to anyone who would listen to him in the entire bar speaking of only just that, and he had the words and vocal levels down big time. The only problem is that it sounded like he had no coherent thought of the song's rhythm because he just wound up bouncing all over the proverbial landscape and only getting it right every once or twice. I seriously had the urge to walk in there and start clapping out the correct rhythm in a vague attempt to see if I could get him back on the right beat.

There was one slightly humorous aspect of last night that I should bring up if only just to prove that I'm not a curmudgeon like I might seem. One of my friends who went to this bar with me and was happy to join into the karaoke free-for-all was looking through the book of songs to pick his first one. Most of the looking time left an oddly sad look on his face but then a big smile came across it and he ran quickly up to the person in charge. I have to admit to a little nervousness on what song he had chosen due to his constant enjoyment in situations like this of finding the most horrendous thing to do while in front of a crowd of people.

After a 20 minute wait which included the previously mentioned Johnny Cash and a brain meltingly horrendous version of what I believe was Faith Hill's "Breathe" which was sung by someone that was having a hard time at just that, it came down to my friend's song. My brain was racked with possibilities even after he started. I swore that knew the song but I just couldn't place it. Then the chorus kicked in and my jaw just about hit the floor. The song in question was "To Hell With The Devil" which was originated by none of there than those titans of 80s Christan heavy metal, Stryper. It doesn't matter who you are but you have to give it up for any karaoke bar that has a song by a long forgotten band like that on their song list.

And, for the record, the room seriously cleared out during it's performance. I am not sure if it was the song itself or the fact that my friend performed it like he was the Devil himself that can be to blame for that. Either way, my night was brightened just a little and, for that, I thank him.