Archive for the ‘Cake’ Category

filigreecoverSOUNDTRACK: FRANKIE VALLI AND THE FOUR SEASONS-“Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” (1967).

20140115_093859This was our wedding song.  Sarah and I took ballroom dance classes and we choreographed a dance to this song using the moves that we knew.  And that is one of the things people still talk about our wedding.  It was a fun and feisty dance.

But it was also sneaky because it starts out slow (we heard someone comment “swaying” as the song started out.

And then the horns kick in and we pulled out all of our best moves.  It was a huge hit.

We did not video our wedding, and our one regret is that we kept our big dance a secret so no one filmed it.  It now just lives on in memory.

[MARRIED: January 17, 2004] Paul Debraski & Sarah Cornish

Ten years ago today Sarah and I were married.

It was a glorious day, a little cold (but who could feel it?).  We had a brief but wonderful ceremony and then an amazing party afterwards full of friends and relatives.  The food was great, the company was great, even the cake was great (ask anyone who was there).  It even snowed that night.

filigree2Six months before that I proposed using this book.  I can’t remember what the actual book was that I cut up and modified–it would be interesting to see if I ever wanted to read it.

filigree1I drew my own cover (full of personal secrets), made an inside cover with our photos and even put some blurbs on the back.  And then I glued the pages together and cut out an opening for the engagement ring.  (There’s also a page of personal stuff that you aren’t allowed to see).

And here it is ten years later.  It’s hard to imagine how much has changed in ten year.  We’ve got two wonderful kids, a bunch of chickens, other small animals and jobs that are completely different than they were a decade ago.

Happy anniversary, my love, and here’s to ten more.

And, yes, since this post is a surprise for Sarah, i hope to update the pictures when we get back from our anniversary vacation.filigreeback

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  hyperSOUNDTRACK: SHEARWATER-Tiny Desk Concert #9 (November 14, 2008).

shearwaterI didn’t really know Shearwater before this Tiny Desk Concert.  I’d heard of them but wasn’t familiar with their music (I assumed it was more countryish).  I was also really surprised to find that Thor Harris was in the band (he is currently playing with Swans–it doesn’t get too much more different between Swans and Shearwater (even if they are both birds).

Jonathan Meiberg is the singer–he was formerly in Okkervil River for a number of years before Shearwater became too big to be a side project.  The setting is perfect for the band as they get to showcase some really quiet insturments.  Like the Waterphone (designed by Richard Waters, although Thor Harris made the one they are using).  It is based on the calimba and they describe it as the sound you hear when something weird happens on Lost.  Thor also plays the clarinet (!).

Meiberg has a great voice, and it perfectly complements these delicate songs.  “Rooks” has melodies on xylophone and Hammered dulcimer (which also looks homemade).  “Leviathan, Bound” is based on the documentary “Blue Water White Death” about great white sharks and whalers.  They explain that this is a new version of the song with banjo.  And before they start the song they nearly knock something over (it is a Tiny desk after all).

“North Col” is the less commonly use approach to Mt Everest.  And this song is just as spare and pretty.  Before playing the final song, they show the album cover (of Rook) and talk about Kahn & Selesnick, the artists who made it (it’s quite striking).  Then he explains the origins of “I Was a Cloud” which he wrote when he was in the Falkland Islands.  They were birding and found a tiny bird living under the wreckage of a fighter jet.  It’s a beautiful image and a beautiful song.

And I definitely need to hear more Shearwater after this.

[READ: December 29, 2013] Hyperbole and a Half

The whole blogs-into-books thing is weird.  You can read everything in these blogs for free on the internet, so why do they come out in books?  Is the internet insecure when it comes to publishing?  Are these things more legitimate as books?  Is it just a way to make money?  Are they in print just in case the internet explodes?  It certainly undermines the concept that books are dead.  Well, whatever, some blogs translate very well to print.  Like this one.

I have enjoyed Hyperbole and a Half a number of times, but I never thought to check it regularly.  So I had no idea that Allie had taken a year off.  And I had no idea that she suffered from Depression so people were concerned about her.  I always just thought her strips were very very funny and didn’t read anything in them.  Of course, knowing she was Depressed (she admits as much in the book) makes the darker stories seem darker, but the funny ones are still really funny.

I mean, just look at drawings! No really, look at the drawings–they are so weird and creepy and so freaking funny.  It seems like she can’t really draw, because the pictures are crazy.  And yet she is so consistent with her lines and styles that I have to assume she is a masterful artist and has chosen this crazy style to accentuate her crazy stories.  And it is genius. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: QUEENSRŸCHE-Rage for Order (1985).

Thinks looked to be very different for Queensrÿche on Rage for Order.  I mean, look at them.  On the back of The Warning they were leather-clad hellions.  On Rage, they are quite the dandys (man, I wanted Geoff Tate’s coat!).   This would be the first of many times that they confounded their fans with a style change.

Yet despite the look of them, the album opens with a scorcher, “Walk in the Shadows.”  It’s not as heavy as their earlier songs, but it has perfected many of the elements of those earlier records: the chanted vocals, the great riffs and the screaming solos.  “I Dream in Infrared” shows their they’ve always been interest in technology.  It’s ballady, but it’s got some really sharp guitars and some more soaring vocals.

The keyboards at the end of the song segue into “The Whisper,” the first indication that things would be different on this record–orchestra keyboards hits (which I have always loved) are used to punctuate verses, and there are cool, whispered words (which would be used prominently on Operation: Mindcrime

Then comes the big shock, “Gonna Get Close to You” a weird synth/metal hybrid with a strikingly catchy and poppy chorus (that seems ever-so-80s to me)–see below for a fun surprise about this song.

Then “The Killing Words” opens with a keyboard riff that sounds not unlike 80s-era Marillion–Tate even whispers words not unlike Fish does on early Marillion albums.  Of course, when the chorus comes in it is pure Queensrÿche .  There’s more orchestral hits and cool effects on “Surgical Strike.”

I love everything about the opening of “Neue Regel,” from the unusual guitar to the “steam” sounds used as percussion to Tate’s processed, minimized voice–it makes for a wonderfully claustrophobic song.  It’s made even more so by the overlapping, intertwining vocals later on. 

“Chemical Youth (We Are Rebellion)” is a cool sparse song (the opening in particular). But it also shows their interest in, if not politics, then at least contemporary society (again, more foreshadowing of Mindcrime).  “London” just builds and builds in intensity, while “Screaming in Digital” takes the technological aspect one step further with all kind of sinister synthesized sounds and the crazy way it ends.

The album ends with “I Will Remember,” an acoustic song complete with mournful whistling from Tate.   But even as a ballad, it’s not your typical lyrical content: “And we wonder how machines can steal each other’s dreams.”  I don’t love it as an album ender, although it does wind things down pretty nicely.

This is my favorite Queensrÿche album, hands down.  I know most people like Mindcrime better, but for me, this one is more progressive and showcases a lot of the risks the band was willing to take.

Incidentally, there’s a wonderful review of Rage here, in which I learn that “Gonna Get Close to You” is actually a cover of a song by the Canadian singer Dalbello (who is really crazy and fun, and whom I’ve never heard of until I just looked her up).  How did I not know it was a cover?  (Or more like, I knew it, but forgot it over the last twenty some years)?  I might actually like the original better.

[READ: October 25, 2011] “This Cake is for the Party”

This was a very short story that crammed a lot of emotion into two pages.

As the story opens, Bonnie is finishing a cake for a party.  The party is to celebrate the engagement of Janey and Milt.  Janey is one of Bonnie’s older friends and she’s happy for Janey.  She likes her fiancée, Milt (even if he did just get a black eye).  The black eye came from a misunderstanding.  Milt was in a pub “lasciviously” twirling the mustache that his high school class dared him to grow.  Someone in the pub thought he was making advances on his woman and punched Milt in the face. 

But Bonnie’s boyfriend, David doesn’t like Milt.  He won’t say why, he just doesn’t.  It could very well have to do with the fact that he and Janey used to date, and it’s possible that Janey dumped David for Milt (that’s a little unclear in the story). (more…)

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