Don't stop believin'

We don't have cable so we don't get to watch what few videos are still shown on MTV or VH1. For a while we had a network video channel call The Tube and I used to watch a few videos in the morning as my coffee was brewing. One morning I saw a concert video of Don't Stop Believin' by Journey and although I didn't really pay attention to it when it came out in the early 80's that morning the song spoke to me.

I did not tell Joe that I was newly fascinated with an 1980s power ballad until later that week when I read about a compilation CD by "indie" artists called Guilt By Association. I went to the myspace page set up for the album and the first song I heard was Petra Hayden singing an a capella version of Don't Stop Believin'. Over the next couple of months I would hearcd Si the song and wonder if it was coincidence or if I really never paid attention before.

I eventually downloaded it because I obviously had to have it. And when I was setting up my iPhone ringtones I had to use it as a ring for somebody.

Well I think the culmination of all things Don't Stop Believin' happened last week when we watched the Sopranos. In the weird final scene of the final episode Tony selects Don't Stop Believin' on the jukebox as the show ends for all eternity.

Here is a slightly edited version (mp3 file) for your edification/guilty pleasure:



Memorial Day Weekend 2007

Good weekend so far. Saturday I planted my balcony flowers which I had bought Friday at lunchtime. It is fun just walking around the nursery looking at all the colors and textures. I bought some old standards - geraniums, purple petunias (they smell the best), portulaca, mint - as well as some new ones - garden pinks, something with flamingo in the name, lobelia. Austin gave me a nice maple-leaf plant that has an orange blossom that seems to be made of chinese rice paper.

Yesterday morning Joe and I did an 18 mile cycling ride in VA. Some highlights:

  • Sweet-smelling honeysuckle everywhere

  • Watching a bird pick up a a perfectly clean kleenex lying on the trail and fly away with it

  • Riding along with the "Rolling Thunder" (veterans on motorcycles, mostly Harleys) on Interstate 66. Interstate highways and other roads were closed to accommodate their trip from points in VA and MD to the Pentagon. People were lined up on the overpasses waving at the riders. The riders beeped at them. It was quite loud but impressive.

  • Seeing two large herons along the way. One was bigger than any heron I have seen in the SC marsh.

As I was planting flowers I listened to some new music. Here's what I'm liking:

  • Rufus Wainwright - I listened to his dad Loundon in the late 70s and 80s. I have tried to listen to Rufus in the past but was never impressed. His latest though finally broke through. Romantic, bitter, thoughtful, clever.

  • VHS or Beta - fun 80's influenced music, as you would expect from the name

  • Final Fantasy - a guy who plays nice pop music and uses violins for percussion. I found some mp3s of a collaboration between Final Fantasy and a rapper Cadence Weapon. It was a great fit.

  • Kings of Leon - Southern Rock n Roll, but in a good way

  • A small Swedish Invasion - Jose Gonzalez, Peter Bjorn and John

  • Amy Winehouse - way too much hype but she has a great boozy blues style and apparently a lifestyle to match

Here are some pictures of my balcony:

flowers20072_t flowers20071_t