Friday, October 1, 2010

It's not Plagiarism if you're Awesome

So I'm stuck in the library on an admittedly gloomy Friday afternoon. Nonetheless, despite the fact that Boston is up to the latter half of the alphabet in Tropical Storms, I want to go home and stop doing work. The cabin fever has been exacerbated by the fact that I've been sick the past few days and have done nothing but sit on my ass, eat candy under the guise of "cough drops," and watch TV. I want to go out, Jackass-style. My prospects don't look good, however, since I am only on page 4 of my six-page memo. And editing always takes longer than word-diarrhea, or as others like to call it, "writing".

So anyway, the title of this post is not about the fact that I'm cheating, which thankfully for a superiority complex, I would never deign to use another's words as my own. It's more about my obsession with covers. I am cheating a bit, because I know this is a blog of country music, and although this song was originally sang by Bob Dylan, Dierks Bentley ain't too shabby either.

-Dierks Bentley (originally Bob Dylan)

Senor, senor, can you tell me where we're headin ?
Lincoln County Road or Armageddon ?
Seems like I been down this way before
Is there any truth in that, senor ?

Senor, senor, do you know where she is hidin' ?
How long are we gonna be riding ?
How long must I keep my eyes glued to the door ?
Will there be any comfort there senor ?

There's a wicked wind still blowing on that upper deck
There's an iron cross still hanging down from around her neck
There's a marcing band still playing in that vacant lot
Where's she held me in her arms one time and said, Forget me not.

My overall favorite is Tim McGraw's cover of Elton John's "Tiny Dancer". I think it's better than the original. But I don't really like Elton John. Or The Beatles. Let the flaming commence.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Viva La Revolucion!

I used to think that Classics was a really rigid subject. After all, we have all those scary sounding words like declensions, conjugations, supines (which is less scary and more hilarious), gerundives, etc. Then I came to law school and met a little friend called THE BLUEBOOK. Uniformity is great. Top notch. Tally ho. But it's stupid when Illinois can only be Ill and not IL, it borders on insanity when Second is not 2nd but 2d, yet Fourth is 4th and it plummets into black despair when whether or not a space is underlined is the determining factor between right and wrong.

Well I say cast off the shackles of citations! Let us rebel against the burdensome distinctions!

In the meantime, listen to this song, think of someone loved and lost and enjoy the fall.

Colder Weather
-Zac Brown Band

Well it's a winding road
When you're in the lost and found
You're a lover I'm a runner
We go 'round 'n 'round
And I love you but I leave you
I don't want you but I need you
You know it's you that calls me back here babe

Oh I wanna see you again
But I'm stuck in colder weather
Maybe tomorrow will be better
Can I call you then
Cause I'm a ramblin' man
I ain't ever gonna change
I got a gypsy soul
And, babe, I was born for leavin'
Born for leavin'

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Blame it on Waylon

I have been noticeably slacking in the whole updating department, due to the fact that I have been up to my neck in law reading. However, I wanted to very quickly share the four things that have been getting me through the past two (point five) weeks: Waylon, Kris, Johnny & Willie.


I was a highwayman. Along the coach roads I did ride
With sword and pistol by my side
Many a young maid lost her baubles to my trade
Many a soldier shed his lifeblood on my blade
The bastards hung me in the spring of twenty-five
But I am still alive.

I was a sailor. I was born upon the tide
And with the sea I did abide.
I sailed a schooner round the Horn to Mexico
I went aloft and furled the mainsail in a blow
And when the yards broke off they said that I got killed
But I am living still.

I was a dam builder. Across the river deep and wide.
Where steel and water did collide
A place called Boulder on the wild Colorado
I slipped and fell into the wet concrete below
They buried me in that great tomb that knows no sound
But I am still around..I'll always be around..and around and around and
around and around

I fly a starship across the Universe divide
And when I reach the other side
I'll find a place to rest my spirit if I can
Perhaps I may become a highwayman again
Or I may simply be a single drop of rain
But I will remain
And I'll be back again, and again and again and again and again...

Since this is country, I'll forgive the hung/hanged snafu. Also, hearing Johnny Cash sing about flying a starship? I didn't realize the Man in Black could get any more badass. While I'm normally a lyrics kinda gal, you gotta listen to this song. Even better, listen to a live recording. Even better, youtube it and watch four of the most legendary country singers perform one of the best country songs. Then, go cry in a dark closet because there will never be such a concentration of talent and awesomeness on one stage ever again.

**One final point, my obsession with this song may be somewhat predicated on the fact that "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes is my second favorite poem.

Friday, July 30, 2010

"Marriage is like a bank account. You put it in, you take it out, you lose interest."
-Irwin Corey

My current job is to read through a digital transcription of a 14th Century manuscript of the register of the ecclesiastical court proceedings of the diocese of Ely and fix any mistakes I might find. Basically, I am a super hardcore copy editor. Being an ecclesiastical court, most of the cases are about marriage. The Medieval mindset on marriage is absolutely fascinating. Here are some fun facts:

1. It's considered incest if your husband/wife-to-be is related to someone you've ever slept with. And these degrees of consanguinity are far-reaching. For example, if in your youth you boinked some girl who turned out to be the second cousin, twice removed of your fiancee, that marriage is forbidden.

2. You have to publish banns in front of a church before you can get married. People need to be given sufficient time to object to your marriage. This is not nearly as funny or dramatic as the official asking if anyone objects DURING the wedding, as we currently do now.

3. There are no marriage contracts. As in, there is no legal documentation that you are wed to someone. Most marriage cases involve witnesses testifying, "Yeah, they're hitched," or the opposite. This results in lots of hilarious cases where some guy contracts with three women, all named Agnes. Many hijinks ensue.

4. In fact, in order to marry someone, it appears you only have to say something to the effect of "I take you as my wife/husband." There are some men who try to get away with extra clauses such as, "I take you as my wife, as long as you behave yourself." The court seems to find no fault with these clauses.

5. The court can and totally will order two people who hate one another to be wed and "exhibit spousely affection" to one another. One case that sticks out in my mind is a woman who was married to a man for thirty years, but it was discovered that she had actually contracted with another man before that marriage, so she was forced to leave her current husband for this guy she hadn't lived with for thirty years and show "wifely emotion" toward him.

6. There was a lot of extra-marital and pre-marital boinkage.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Face it Kenny, no girl's gonna want to have pop tarts for dinner every night when they get married!

I really like lists. I think they're generally completely useless, which is why I find them so enjoyable to compose. Unfortunately for my nihilistic side, they can be quite revealing and helpful at times. Below is a selection from's 25 Best Country Love Songs (Ever).

1. I Will Always Love You-Dolly Parton (1974)
Bittersweet memories
That's all I have and all I'm taking with me
Good-bye, oh please don't cry
Cause we both know that I'm not what you need
But I will always love you
I will always love you

4. Crazy-Patsy Cline (1961)
Crazy, I'm crazy for feeling so lonely
I'm crazy, crazy for feeling so blue
I knew you'd love me as long as you wanted
And then someday you'd leave me for somebody new
Worry, why do I let myself worry?
Wond'ring what in the world did I do?
Crazy for thinking that my love could hold you
I'm crazy for trying and crazy for crying
And I'm crazy for loving you

5. The Dance-Garth Brooks (1989)
For a moment all the world was right
How could I have known that you'd ever say goodbye
And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I'd have had to miss the dance

6. Always on My Mind-Willie Nelson (1982)
And maybe I didn't hold you
all those lonely, lonely times
And I guess I never told you
I'm so happy that you're mine
Little things I should have said and done
I just never took the time
You were always on my mind
You were always on my mind

9. He Stopped Loving Her Today-George Jones (1980)
He said I'll love you 'til I die
She told him you'll forget in time
As the years went slowly by
She still preyed upon his mind
He kept her picture on his wall
Went half crazy now and then
He still loved her through it all
Hoping she'd come back again
Kept some letters by his bed
Dated 1962
He had underlined in red
Every single I love you

Five out of 25 of the greatest love songs in country are not love songs, they're heartbreak songs! Obviously, some part of Country equates love with anguish. It's as if the ultimate proof for your love is a life of torment. Good God, now can y'all see that George Jones and Garth Brooks are just reincarnations of Ovid and Catullus?

Monday, July 26, 2010

For this one transcendent good

Parents say they only want their children to be "healthy and happy." While the first wish is innocuous enough, I cannot imagine a more toxic hope for anyone than the latter. Aside from contributing to the false notion that happiness is some kind of ultimate state that one can achieve instead of merely an episodic emotion, it also implies that the goal of life is to be happy. What a selfish, meaningless goal.

This is not a diatribe against being happy. I like being happy. But should that ever be someone's ultimate goal, for their offspring or themselves? Should it not be success or passion or morality or understanding? Happiness just seems so very... trite. Would I want my children to be miserable? Of course not. But I do want them to be miserable for at least some of their lives. Being exposed only to happiness is like being exposed to only one belief. It allows for no growth in a person.

Does happiness build character? Do we learn more from our successes or from our failures? The ability to feel is a gift, and whether it be hurt or bliss, we should embrace it. We should not seek out only happiness, but all emotions that might define and shape our lives.

There is neither happiness nor misery in the world, there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, Morrel, then we may appreciate the enjoyments of life.
-Alexandre Dumas, Le comte de Monte Cristo

My personal condolences to anyone who was disappointed by the fact I had strayed from the rigorous borders of classicism and medievalism.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Point Mutation in 1824 of the LMNA gene

I was originally planning on writing more about old age, after listening to George Strait's Troubadour, but today doesn't feel like a pontificating day. It's Sunday, it's the Christian Lord's Day, and for kids my age, it's a day to get over our hangovers.

Prodigal Son
-Dierks Bentley

Father meet me with your arms wide open
The world's done broken your prodigal son
Down that road I traveled
Everything raveled only came undone

Father lead me down to the river
Wash me in the water 'til I'm whiter than snow
I know I'm not worthy
But tell me there's mercy for the wanderin' soul

I lost my way but now I'm on my knees
If it's not too late won't you tell me please
You got a place for me
A little grace for me

Father meet me in the cool green valley
In all of your glory when my days are done
Name me as one of your chosen
Heaven's unbroken prodigal son

Father meet me with your arms wide open
Lead me down to the river
Meet me in the cool green valley

Name me one of your chosen
Heaven's unbroken prodigal son

I guess this is after all, very much a post about old age. It's about a child feeling way too damn old.