Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #6 - My Favorite Bands

I totally love rock and roll music! I especially love the classics. Here is a list of my top 13 bands or solo artists:

1.) Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
My very favorite band and solo artist all rolled up into one. Damn the Torpedos - released in 1979 - was the band's 3rd album and includes: "Refugee" and "Here Comes My Girl"
Full Moon Fever - released in 1989 - is the first solo album by Tom Petty and my favorite. It includes: "Free Fallin", "Won't Back Down", "Yer So Bad", "Runnin Down A Dream" and "Zombie Zoo". These songs were written with Jeff Lynne of ELO and The Traveling Wiburys fame.

2.) Heart
Ann and Nancy Wilson make up the band Heart. Little Queen - released in 1977 - is the groups 3rd album and includes: "Barracuda", "Kick It Out" and the title song "Little Queen". Heart - their 8th album - was released in 1985 and with the exception of their greatest hits, is my favorite album. It inclues: "If Looks Could Kill", "What About Love", "Never", and "These Dreams" (written by Bernie Taupin). Nancy Wilson is married to writer/director Cameron Crowe.

3.) Meatloaf
Bat Out of Hell - released in 1977 - is the 1st album by Meatloaf, songwriter Jim Steinman and producer Todd Rundgren. It includes: "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad", "Paradise By the Dashboard Lights" and the self-titled "Bat Out of Hell".
Bat of Hell II: Back Into Hell - released in 1993 - includes: "I'd Do Anything For Love", "Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through", Good Girls Go to Heaven", and "Objects In the Rearview Mirror ...".

4.) Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon was released in 1973 and includes: "Speak To Me", "The Great Gig in the Sky", "Brain Damage", "Eclipse" and "Money". This album spent 741 consecutive weeks on the Top 10 List (14+ years). The rock opera, The Wall, was released in 1979 and includes: "Another Brick in the Wall", "Goodbye Blue Sky", "Is There Anyone Out There", and "Comfortably Numb". The film version of The Wall was released in 1982.

5.) Moody Blues
The Moody Blues 1st album - Days of Future Passed - was released in 1967 and inlcudes: "Nights in White Satin" and "The Day Begins". The Other Side of Life was released in 1986 and includs the hits: "Your Wildest Dreams", "Rock 'N Roll Over You", and the self-titled "The Other Side of Life".

6.) Jethro Tull
Let's get this clear up front, there is NO person named Jethro Tull. Jethro Tull is a British rock band that features the distinctive vocal style and lead flute work of front man Ian Anderson. Released in 1971, Aqualung is the bands 4th studio release and includes: "Cross-eyed Mary", "Locomotive Breath", "Mother Goose", and the self-titled "Aqualung". Thick As A Brick - released in 1972 - was a concept album built around a poem written by a fictitious boy, "Gerald Bostock" a.k.a. "Little Milton" (Ian Anderson himself). This popular album includes "Thick As A Brick Part One" and "Thick As A Brick Part Two".

7.) Def Leppard
Another British hard rock band, Def Leppard released Pyromania in 1983 as their 3rd studio album. It included: "Photograph", "Too Late for Love", "Foolin", "Billy's Got a Gun", and "Rock of Ages".
In 1987 they released, Hysteria which includes: "Rocket", "Love Bites", "Pour Some Sugar On Me", and the self-titled "Hysteria". On an interesting note in 1984, drummer Rick Allen lost his left arm in a car crash - it has not effected his drumming ability.

8.) ELO (Electric Light Orchestra)
ELO is the brain-child of Jeff Lynne, who wrote and arranged the songs and music and produced every album. Released in 1977, Out of the Blue is a double album Lynne wrote in 3 1/2 weeks and it became the band's most commerically sucessful albums. It includes: "Turn to Stone", "Sweet Talkin Woman", "Big Wheels", Standin in the Rain", and my youngest daughter's favorite song, "Mr. Blue Sky".
Zoom, their most recent album, released in 2001, includes: "Moment in Paradise", "Easy Money", "All She Wanted", and "Lonesome Lullaby".

9.) Genesis
There is Genesis with Peter Gabriel and there is Genesis without Peter Gabriel; I prefer the latter, although I do enjoy Trick of the Tail released in 1976. Released in 1980, Duke is the 10th studio album and it includes: "Duchess", "Misunderstanding", "Turn It Around", and "Alone Tonight".
My favorite album is Invisible Touch released in 1986. It includes: "Land of Confusion", "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight", "In Too Deep", and the self-titled "Invisible Touch". It also includes "Throwing It All Away" written by guitarist Mike Rutherford, founder of Mike and the Mechanics - my favorite member of the band.

10.) Journey
A purely American rock band, Journey again came to the forefront after their song "Don't Stop Believing" was featured in the series finale of The Sopranos. Escape, their 7th studio album, was released in 1981 and includes: "Who's Crying Now", "Open Arms", "Stone in Love", and "Don't Stop Believing".
The 1996 release of Trial by Fire includes: "When You Love A Woman", "When I Think of You", "If He Should Break Your Heart" and the self-titled "Trial by Fire". In 2009, Steve Perry - the band's best-known lead vocalist - will be eligible for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

11.) Green Day
This fairly new rock band was formed in 1987 and was originally part of the punk rock scene. But Green Day didn't hit my radar until the 2004 release of American Idiot, which was their 7th studio album. American Idiot is a rock opera that criticizes the contemporary political climate of the United States. It includes: "Jesus of Suburbia", "Holiday", "Wake Me Up When September Ends", and the self-titled "American Idiot". They are currently working on their untitled 8th album.

12.) My Chemical Romance
My Chemical Romance is another new band I've learned to like, thanks again to my daughter. Formed in 2001, they released their first album - I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love in 2002. But the album that hooked me was 2004's Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge. It includes: "Helena", "Give'em Hell Kid", "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)", "The Ghost of You", and "I Never Told You What I Do For a Living".
In 2006 they released The Black Parade, but I never acquired the taste for the songs on this album, always falling back to my favorite on Sweet Revenge.

13.) SugarCult
SugarCult is a new band - formed in 1998 - that is quickly becoming my favorite band. Typically I don't like the new artist on the market, many of them being fly-by-night, one-hit wonders. However, when my youngest daughter turned me on to SugarCult, there was just something about their songs and music that strike a chord in me. Start Static - released in 2001 - is the first album I heard. It includes: "You're the One", "Hate Every Beautiful Day", "Stuck in America", "Bouncing off the Walls", and "Daddy's Little Defect". Palm Trees and Powerlines - released in 2004 - is my favorite album; it helped me get through the painful loss of my baby sister. It includes: "She's the Blade", "Memory", "Crying", and "Back to California".
Lights Out - their current studio album - was released in 2006 and includes: "Do It Alone", "Los Angeles", "Riot", "Out of Phase", and the self-titled "Lights Out".

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

School Scheduling Follow-up

We have finally gotten my daughter's school schedule straightened out, after spending one hour and 20 minutes with the guidance counselor and sending an unflattering letter to the editor of the local paper. The following is the letter that was published today in the Harrodsburg Herald:
Dear Editor,

The Mercer County School systems returns to session on Monday, August 4th with a full day of classes. Or will they? Unless the High School schedules get corrected this week, it looks like the students will be spending the first week of school in chaos.

It's not like the school hasn't had 6 months to work on class schedules for the 10th, 11th and 12th grades - the students turned in their schedules right after Christmas.

How does a high school guidance counselor overlook a straight A honor student and put her in lower level classes? How did a child who was signed up for AP English, AP US History, Honors Algebra 2 and Honors Science - classes that have to have a teacher's recommendation - end up in regular classes? Obviously the school takes no notice of a child's request or their academic successes.

It's a sad day for the school system when the bureaucracy interferes with the students academic endeavors.

Respectfully submitted,

Bobbi Rightmyer

My daughter is now enrolled in the AP and Honors classes instead of the regular classes, thanks to a new - and very helpful - guidance counselor. I did send him a thank you note for all his help, because he truly was helpful.

On a nastier note, I got a phone call from the High School Principal tonight complaining about the letter I wrote to the paper. He stated he had not read the letter - as of 8:00 p.m. - but he had heard about it. So, instead of complaining to me about first hand knowledge, he complained about what someone else told him. Shame on him - he needs to get his staff in order, and his staff should have let me speak with him on the 3 occasions I called the school asking for him. I guess he's learned a lesson!

Way Back Wednesday - Rocky Horror Picture Show

What do a Transylvanian transvestite, a cryogenically-preserved motorbiker, two young lovers and a Frankenstein's monster wearing golden underpants all have in common? They're all crucial parts of Rocky Horror Picture Show, the comedy cult classic which is at once hysterical, indispensable and truly disturbing.

(From IMDB) The story is narrated by a criminologist (Charles Gray), and features a newly engaged young couple, Brad Majors (Barry Bostwick) and Janet Weiss (Susan Sarandon), who find themselves lost and with a flat tire on a cold and rainy night. Seeking a phone with which to call for help, the two knock on the door at a nearby castle:
"There's a light over at the Frankenstein place ... there's a light burning in the fireplace ... there's a light in the darkness of everybody's life."

They find the house is inhabited by strange and outlandish people who are holding an Annual Transylvanian Convention. They are greeted at the door by the lowly servant Riff Raff (Richard O'Brien; he also wrote The Rocky Horror Picture Show) - my favorite character, after Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry).

Still wet from the rain, Brad (asshole) and Janet (slut) watch the Transylvanians dance the Time Warp, the signature song from the movie:
"Let's do the Time Warp again ... it's just a jump to the left and then a step to the right ... put your hands on your hips and pull your knees in tight and it's the pelvic thrust that really drives you insane ... let's do the Time Warp again ..."

They are soon swept into the world of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a bizarre and self-proclaimed "sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania" and his servants, brother and sister Riff Raff and Magenta (Patricia Quinn), as well as a 1970-style groupie Columbia (Nell Campbell) and an ensemble of convention attendees. The first time I saw Tim Curry in those high-heels and skimpy outfit, I was entraced! I never get tired of watching this movie!

It is Frank's intention to unveil the "secret to life itself". He takes the whole group up to his lab "to see what's on the slab". In a scene inspired by Frankenstein movies, Rocky Horror (Peter Hinwood) is brought to life.

After the disoriented Rocky runs, and is chased down and tackled by Frank, the party is interrupted by the arrival of Eddie (Meat Loaf), an ex-delivery boy, who rides out of a deep freeze on a motorcycle. Eddie enchants everyone, and in a jealous response, Frank corners and slaughters Eddie (to everyone's horror) with an ice axe.

By the end of the night, fantasies will be realities, men will be women and everything will be explained - or will it?!?!? Of course, there are pre-designed spots for audience participation - from being doused with spray bottles to throwing popcorn at the screen to getting up from your seat and dancing along to the incomparable "Time Warp". If you have never watched The Rocky Horror Picture Show at a theater with full audience participation, you are definitely missing a treat!

PS: MTV is planning a remake of this classic - how do you feel about a remake? I for one don't think a remake would even be in the same universe as the original!!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

School Scheduling Follow-up

Okay, so I haven't been able to get the child's schedule changed - YET!!! But I will be standing in line just as soon as I get off work today.

Yesterday, I again called the school, was put on hold, and then told they would not do any schedule changes over the phone. "Fine", I told the receptionist, "what time should I be there?" Nice logical question I thought. But noooo, not such a simple question after all. By yesterday morning at 9:00 (when I called), there were already 40+ parents waiting in line to talk with the guidance counselors! According to another parent I talked to - who just happened to arrive at school at the same time the counselors did (7:00) - there were 100's of mistakes made on schedules! I was told by the receptionist that I could come and sign in and then wait my turn.

So, when I arrived at school at 12:15, there were still about 30+ parents waiting in line! When I check with the office, I was told the wait would be a long time, mainly because the counselors had gone to lunch! These are mistakes the counselors made, but they feel it is okay to leave parents waiting. Parents, I remind you, that were also on lunch break to take care of their problems, or who had taken off a days work to clear up obvious mistakes. The counselors and schedulers have had 6 months to work on the schedules, but obviously that was not enough time. Needless to say, I didn't stay yesterday, mainly because I didn't bring a book to read while I waited.

Today is going to be different. I'm picking up my daughter and her friend from their volunteer job at the hospital and we will be at the school by 12:30. Surely the counselors only take 30 minutes for lunch! I will wait all afternoon if I have to. I have a book to read, a notebook to jot in and my laptop. We will get my daughter's schedule fixed, even if it kills me!!

To be continued ...

The Morning After "Weeds"

"Yes I Can"

Oh man, there were just soooo many things that were sooooo wroooong with this episode - I loved it!!!

When Nancy is denied a share of the incoming pot by Guillermo, she decides to go over his head to Esteban. She ends up with a spanking - literally - but also 300 pounds of weed. It may have been worth it, but the look on Guillermo's face during the last scene - he scared me! I don't know what Esteban did to him, but it wasn't good.

Celia discovers the cheap medication at Mexican pharmacies, plus she is off the hook with Captain Till. In a strange twist of fate, after trying so hard to get Celia in bed, Capt. Till is shown in bed with a man! Didn't see that one coming. And Isabelle is starting to doubt her decision to move in with her mother.

Silas and Lisa get intimate, I mean, underage down and dirty. Did they pay Hunter Parrish to buff up for this season or what?!!! OMG!!! Talk about jailbait ...

Shane and Isabelle discover some shocking photos - the nude ones of Nancy! Isabelle sees Nancy in a whole new light, while Shane "scratches his fleas" to his mom's photos!

Andy and Doug begin interviewing for their human smuggling operation, bringing their market research home for lunch. The very opening scene of tonight's episode had a naked Andy running to the bathroom! Two nude Botwins in one episode - be still my heart!

We also got to see our first glimpes of Sanjay and Clinque's baby - and he's a whopper. Lupita returns for the first time since Nancy fired her early in Season 3. And Marvin's back after having lost a staggering 10 pounds. Still no sign of Conrad or Heylia but they are listed as "guest stars" for Season 4. And who other but the Six Million Dollar Man - or the Fall Guy, depending on which generation you are - Lee Majors had a tiny guest part in this episode as a border patroller.

How did they cram so much into a 25 minute episode? I don't know, but if the previews of next week's episode are any indication, things are only going to get hotter!

2 thumbs up - way, way up!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Coca-Cola Challenge Update

Hurray for me!!! Today is my 1st month anniversary for eliminating Coca-Cola from my diet. Over the past 28 days, I have only slipped one time and that was 2 weeks ago. I am going to continue this Challenge into August with the hopes of keeping this addiction at bay.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

It's A Good Day To Die

"A Good Day to Die, Part 1"

Robin and the Outlaws arrive at a barn in Nettleton for Robin's surprise birthday party, only to find that the surpise is on them. They become surrounded by the Sheriff's mercenaries. After deciding to fight the mercenaries at first light, the Outlaws share their secrets with one another - Djaq finally admits her love for Will Scarlet and he returns her affections. I've been waiting all season for this!

Back in Nottingham, the Sheriff and Gisbourne are planning a trip to the Holy Land to kill the King. Allan-A-Dale, realizes that the Sheriff and Gisborne are heading to the Holy Land, and he has conflicting thoughts about what to do. The fearless Marian takes it upon herself to stop the Sheriff in his tracks and she attempts to assassinate him, but fails and is finally exposed as a traitor. The Sheriff holds her prisoner and takes her along for the trip to the Holy Land.

Allan must finally choose his allegiance. After a late night visit to Marian, he does her bidding and flees to Nettleton to warn Robin. With the help of Allan, the Outlaws escape the mercenaries and start their journey to the Holy Land to stop the Sheriff.

Next Saturday is the exciting conclusion of Season 2. According to the previews, one member of Robin's gang will pay the ultimate price ... who will it be?

SITS Give-Away

For their last week of the Six Weeks of Summer Contest, the SITS Gals have one final prize: Apple 4G iPod Nano in Silver!
Plays up to 1,000 songs, 4 hours of video or 3,500 pictures! Click their link and leave a comment to enter!

Friday, July 25, 2008

High School Scheduling

I'm going to apologize right now, but I'm about to go off on a rant - so don't say I didn't warn you!

My youngest daughter will be in the 11th grade this year and she is so excited about school starting. Believe it or not, she goes back on August 4th, only 10 days away. She has been working on homework all summer for her AP English class - she had 4 books to read and several papers to write. Hopefully, everything will be finished by next week.

However, she got her new school schedule in the mail today, and when I came home from work, she was in near tears! She was not assigned to ANY of the classes she asked for! Not one single class!!!

So, mother bear that I am, I called the school and talked to some RUDE woman who said schedule changes couldn't be made until August 1st for the 11th graders. I tried to explain to her this was more than a simple schedule change, but she refused to let me talk to anyone else. I was FURIOUS!!!!

Number one, they have my daughter in an regular English class. Excuse me, but my daughter is way too smart to be in a regular English class. Right now, she is ranked number 32 out of 276 students - #32! How does someone this smart get overlooked by the school guidance counselors?

Number two, she signed up to take the medical classes at the Vocational School, but they didn't bother to give her any classes at the Vocational School. I had talked with the principal about 6 weeks before school let out for summer and he assured me my daughter would have no problem getting into the Vocational program. I guess the guidance counselors don't listen to the principal, or else he just told me what I wanted to hear.

Number three, she signed up for Honors History, and again they put her in a regular History class. See number one.

Number four, the other classes they assigned her to - in place of the Vocational classes - were lower level classes. Let me tell you, it ain't going to happen!!

After venting and ranting to my hubby, I have decided I will call the school again Monday morning and I will continue to call until they do something about this fucking mistake!

No wonder kids have so much trouble in school. If the guidance counselors don't care any more for the students than to PENALIZE a student for making good grades, then they need to get rid of the whole bunch and start again.

Our school system has been through the wringer this year anyway, with a Superintendent that has lied to parents and staff, and a Board of Education that has nearly bankrupted us. If parents don't stand together for their children, then who will?

Okay, I'm stepping off my soap box. The ranting is over ... until next week.

To be continued ...

Fun Friday - Test Your Geek Factor

I found a wonderful website to test your geek factor: Innergeek.
The test is waaaay too long to include in this post, but I've provided you with my favorite categories. So, how geeky are you?

--attended a geek party
--been really excited about attending a geek party
--thrown a geek party
--Beta tested this Geek Test
--introduced several people to roleplaying
--gamed in a tournament
--gone to a party just to play Trivial Pursuit
--a phone number with GEEK as the last four digits
--worn a costume other than for Halloween or a play
--worked for a Renaissance Faire
--criticized normality
--taken the Mensa test
--joined Mensa
--talked to plants to help them grow
--quoted Yoda in conversation or debate, at least semi-seriously
--gone to the movies alone
--go to movie dressed up like one of the characters
--waited in line 2+ hours for movie tickets
--waited in line 12+ hours for movie tickets
--skipped parties to program or repair computers
--argued about which "Trek" is the best
--founded a club of any sort
--snorted while laughing
--never turned down a date
--held an office in the SCA
--written articles for SCA publications
--used "authenticity police" in a sentence
--framed my scroll(s)

--Douglas Adams
--Piers Anthony
--Isaac Asimov
--Arthur C. Clarke
--Stephen Hawking
--Robert Heinlein
--Robert Jordan
--H.P. Lovecraft
--Anne McCaffrey
--J.R.R. Tolkien
--any "The Companion to ..." books
--books based on Star Trek or Star Wars
--comic books
--graphic novels
--fan fiction
--hypertext fiction
--The Knowne Worlde Handbook
--books on math/science outside class
--books on grammar outside class
--books on history outside class
--Russian literature outside class
--gaming books
--entire calculator manuals
--entire computer manuals
--software/computer language books
--for a reading circle or book club
--joke/humor books for self-enrichment

I BELIEVE...--in unicorns and dragons
--in fairies, trolls or leprechauns
--in aliens
--in vampires --that I am a vampire
--in the Force
--that anything can be fixed
--Linux is the only worthwhile OS

--Star Trek
--Star Trek: The Next Generation
--Star Trek: Voyager
--Deep Space 9
--Babylon 5
--Buffy the Vampire Slayer
--Dexter's Lab
--Superhero cartoons (Batman, Superman, etc.)
--Beat the Geeks
--Quantum Leap
--Junkyard Wars
--spinoff shows of any of the above
--obscure movies
--foreign films
--History or Discovery Channel
--Weather Channel
--Sci-fi Channel
--Food or Game Show Network
--Cartoon Network
--Tech TV
--bonus features on DVDs

I HAVE SEEN (2+ times)...--Bladerunner
--The Dark Crystal
--The Fly
--Highlander: the movie
--The Last Starfighter
--The Fellowship of the Ring
--The Two Towers
--The Matrix
--Any Monty Python movie
--The Neverending Story
--Princess Bride
--Rocky Horror Picture Show
--War Games
--Any Star Trek movie
--All Star Trek movies
--The Star Wars Trilogy
--Star Wars Episode I and II
--Transformers: the movie
--Weird Science
--Any Kung Fu movie made before 1980

I OWN...--5+ of the above movies on DVD
--10+ of the above movies on DVD
--pocket protector
--Rubik's cube
--2+ Rubik's cubes
--more than one slinky
--four-color pen
--whole/partial set of figurines
--multi-sided dice
--a gaming book
--a few gaming books
--a ton of gaming books
-->1 Steve Jackson game
--Most of the MageKnight line
--Magic the Gathering cards
--Universal remote control with LCD display
--1 or 2 computers
--3+ computers
--a computer currently running on Linux
--PDA, pager, and cell phone
--DVD burner
--Sun, HP, SGI server
--2+ DVD players
--2+ sound effects CDs
--art made from color gels
--a techie black outfit
--a toy lightsaber
--a real lightsaber
--script to any Monty Python film
--several maps and/or globes
--thermometer that also measures humidity
--a full set of encyclopedias
--2+ dictionaries
--2+ calculators
--> 1 chess set
--> 1 trivia game
--> 1 video game console
--> 1 pre-1985 video game console
--beakers, test tubes or Petrie dishes
--an exotic animal
--magnifying glass
--aser pointer

--I am a female geek
--My profession requires a certain level of geekiness
--Throughout my life, my level of geekiness has only increased
--I think this Geek Test is really cool
--I can think of other things that should get me points on this test

According to the questions you answer, you are assigned to a category of geekiness:
++ Geek.............................................≥15%
+++ Total Geek......................................≥25%
++++ Major Geek.....................................≥35%
+++++ Super Geek....................................≥45%
++++++ Extreme Geek.................................≥55%
+++++++ Geek God....................................≥65%
+++++++! Dysfunctional Geek.........................≥75%


Now, go test your inner geek

© 2003-2006 - all rights reserved

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #5 - Favorite TV Series

For this edition of Thursday Thirteen, I'm listing my 13 favorite - current running - television series:

1.) Weeds: Currently in Season 4.

2.) Robin Hood: Currently in Season 2

3.) Bones: Season 4 premieres September 3, 2008.

4.) Californication: Season 2 premieres September 2008.

5.) Medium: Season 5 will premiere January 2009.

6.) Heroes: Season 3 premieres September 22, 2008.

7.) Dexter: Season 3 starts September 30, 2008.

8.) Breaking Bad: Season 2 premiere yet to be announced.

9.) Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles: Season 2 premieres September 8, 2008.

10.) Big Love: Season 3 premieres January 2009.

11.) Grey's Anatomy: Season 5 premieres September 25, 2008.

12.) Lipstick Jungle: Season 2 premieres September 24, 2008.

And for the series I'm most looking forward to in 2008:

13.) True Blood: Series premieres September 7, 2008. This series is based on the Southern Vampire Mysteries (Sookie Stackhouse series) by Charlaine Harris.