Sunday, July 15, 2007

Loads going on

because we're both selling and buying a house. The wife has posted many of the highlights. I've got a pretty intense post about schools and educational equity in my head somewhere, but it hasn't yet congealed into a post.

So what you'll get here are a few non-moving-related posts.

**I watched Don't Forget The Lyrics on Fox last week. In some ways, it wasn't a great was glacially slow, for instance, taking two half-hour episodes to get through one contestant. But I'll be TiVoing it for the duration, I'm afraid, because I love the game. It's simple: a contestant sings the first part (from a few lines to over half) of a song, Karaoke-style, to a live band. At a random point, the words will disappear from the screen and the band will go silent, but the singer must continue and sing a predetermined number of words, verbatim, to win escalating amounts of cash.

The earliest songs were terribly easy. To wit:

Joy to the world
All the boys and girls
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
(sing the next four words)

Then they got more middling, like this snippet from "Material Girl":

They can beg and they can plead
But they can't see the light
Because the boy with the cold hard cash
(sing the next four words

I felt like I was cruising. I would have had some troubles with "Two Tickets to Paradise," but might have gotten it with one of the Millionaire-lifeline style helps. And then she got to the half-million dollar song: "Satisfaction." I thought I could have gotten it, but it proved tough. Can you get it?

When I'm driving in my car
And a man comes on the radio
He's telling me more and more
(sing the next nine words)

I think I could have sung the entire rest of the song, but man, that was a damn tough one. I knew the next four words, but after that, I never had a prayer.

Since watching the show, though, I've been imagining playing the game in my car everywhere. I've noticed what I know well, and what I think I know well that I actually don't. I've also noticed that Journey's "Any Way You Want It" had lyrics I didn't know...really, really inane and stupid lyrics. I was a happier man when I just sang along to the chorus.

**A buddy of mine is a high school choir director. Wife and I had dinner with her yesterday, and she was lamenting that she didn't have good songs to sing for this year's Holiday concert. She's digging deep for something fresh in the Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa/Festivus vein. My wife asked "Would you really do a Festivus song?" Friend said: "If somebody wrote one, we'd perform it." Sounds like a dare to me.

So I've downloaded some music freeware and am writing an original Festivus a cappella composition for SATB. This could be good. And there's no way in hell I'd perform it if it were her. But I'm still enjoying writing it.

I haven't done anything that required me writing musical notes since I last arranged a song for my beloved college a cappella group, and that was a decade ago now. Writing one's own stuff is a helluva lot tougher. But I've done an introductory verse and a verse about the Festivus Pole. Two more verses to go: a call-and-response approach to the Airing of the Grievances, and then a big finish with the Feats of Strength. So what if nobody performs it?

**Were people in the 1920s just shorter than people in the 2000s? Wife and I fell in love with a gorgeous 1928 house...until we entered it. There were multiple places where I could bash my head--the stairway, the still-hypothetical-child's room, and yes, even the master bedroom.

"Imagine how well your legs would get in shape," said my glass-is-half-full mother. "All those squats you'd have to do!"

"Yeah," I replied, "but I'd still forget and bash my head to the point of concussion at least once a week. So I'd have the best thighs in the neighborhood...and Parkinson's Disease."

**For the first time in my life next year, I will have three preps: three sections of sophomores, one of juniors, and one of AP Composition. I asked what the sophomores usually read at the new school, and was told sophomores often read Night, Inherit the Wind, and Julius Caesar. I've taught the first two, which is nice, although each is so short that it'll really only be about a week and a half each. (33 weeks to go!) Unbelievably, I have never even read Julius Caesar. I'll get on that this week. Don't tell me the ending, okay?

**We'll lead off AP Comp with Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn, which I read last week. Recommended. It's fun, but will still provoke good, solid, deep thoughts in the kiddoes...censorship, the role of a government, the purpose of writing and reading. We'll be chatting big time. Bring it on!

**How're y'all doing?

More on moving later.



Alison said...

On behalf of former high schoolers everywhere, I beg you to pick pretty much ANY other Shakespeare. We had to read Julius Caesar, and I promise you that if anything will make Shakespeare less accessible to a 13-year-old, it's political intrigue. I adore the play now, but back then absolutely nobody in the class could stand it.

GrigorPDX said...

Seconding Alison's plea. Politics? Boooooring!

I know my 15-year-old self immensely enjoyed the ghastly bloodletting of Titus Andronicus when we read and then saw it on a school trip to Ashland. The jokes of "What's eating *you*, Tamora?" lead me to believe my peers agreed with me.