Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I Wanna Be a JCP Superstar!

Yes, that is every little girl's dream, right? Here is the tale of the JCP Superstar. Last year, there was a contest to re-write the lyrics to one of 25 songs, centering on the JCP Customer Service mottoes, etc. I wrote a lovely song....but didn't win. It was a tragedy felt keenly by all, and sadness prevailed....until now.

When the contest was first announced for this year, I contemplated not even bothering to write an entry. Eventually, supported by my co-workers, I composed a little ditty for submission. I waited a little while to blog about this because one of the supervisors at work warned me of the dangers of JCP Superstar song stealing. The song is to the tune of "Mamma Mia", by ABBA. I had intended to include a link for those of you who don't really know the song, or know the version from the stage musical better (not that there's anything wrong with that!), but the video I watched was just so funny that I'm pretty sure you should all watch it. Ch-check it out. This video, by the way, has led me to the following conclusion: ABBA - wonderful music, hilariously horrible music videos. The video has, however, inspired me for our own music video, should we move on to level two and make one.

Well, without further is the song. Oh, we were supposed to incorporate Greet, Respect, and Thank in the lyrics.

(No Title - I should probably come up with something awesome)

I've been shopping this mall since I don't know when.
There are some stores in here I won't go to again.
Where am I now? (Assoc.) Hi! Welcome to JCP!
Did you see how...she greeted me at the door?
That's different and that's for sure!
Never seen so much respect in a store,
they thanked me, invited me back for more.

When I'm shopping,
All I ask of you is, please, please, Greet, Respect, and Thank me
JCPenney -
like nobody else. You will Greet, Respect, and Thank me.
Found everything I needed,
my wish-list is completed.
Why, why?
Would I not come back for more?
Now I really know
My, my!
This is my new favorite store!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Try an Enchilada with da Fish a Bac a Lab

I've been fond of Rosemary Clooney for a long time, ever since my dad first introduced me to "White Christmas", that spectacular Vista Vision presentation dedicated to all things Bing Crosby, with the help of the hilarious Danny Kaye, the elegant Vera Ellen and, of course, the glamorous Miss Rosemary Clooney. I'll admit now that Vera was my preferred lady in that movie when I was younger; I envied her dancing ability and wondered why Rosemary and Bing didn't dance as much as Vera and Danny. As I got older and gained a great appreciation for my own vocal cords (and realized with shock that Vera's ribcage was most unhealthily protruding from her torso), I started to look at Rosemary Clooney with a greater degree of admiration.

This was my personal opinion of Rosemary for many years until this semester. I've been in a class that is focused on African-American poetry after 1945 (hang on, I promise it relates). We've discussed many times in class the frequency which the various poets incorporate references to jazz in their poetry, and we listened to Peggy Lee sing a song called "Blues in the Night". One day, while listening to the radio, I heard a rendition of the same song by Rosemary, which I enjoyed immensely. The song stayed in my head for a few days, as songs often do, and eventually I sought out the song directly by looking it up on youtube (for your viewing/listening pleasure...). After listening to that song, I listened to a few others and became more attuned to the sound of Rosemary's voice.

With the stress of graduation leaning upon me, I've taken lately to coming home and heading straight to the computer to listen to a little jazz or swing. Somehow, listening to Rosemary sing "Tenderly" or "Hey There" calms me down and helps me get on with the rest of the day. I played "Mambo Italiano" for my 4 year old niece and she insisted on playing it again and again, dancing and playing her toy piano along with the music.

People don't record music like that much anymore. Back then, it was about the band/orchestra and the voice, the pure voice, of the singer. It wasn't about the best way to get the bass going or the greatest mixing job; it was about the music, and I love it.

P.S. Fun Fact: The song "Come On-a My House", which Rosemary sang but never really liked, was written by Ross Bagdasarian, creator of The Chipmunks....and those of you who know and love the movie "The Chipmunk Adventure" will recognize the title as the song that Miss Miller sings when Dave calls from Europe.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Home Stretch

On one point, at least, I agree with T.S. Eliot: April is the cruelest month. Not only is it a month where the Utah weather goes back and forth, toying with our emotions and immunity systems as it tries to decide if it wants to stay in winter or move on to spring, but April is the month where a young student's fancy turns to thoughts...of the end of the semester (you thought I was going to say love, didn't you? Well, who has time for that in the face of impending finals? Although, if someone asked me, I'm sure I could make the time ;) ). April is the month that begins with finals a month away, but morphs within a couple of weeks to a time of panic, when you realize that, although finals are indeed in the next month, they are really only a day or two after the end of April. You begin compiling a mental tally of everything that you need to complete in the remaining few weeks of the semester. Here is mine:
~18 pages total on any topic involving African-American Poetry after 1945
~6-7 pgs on Henry James' "The Jolly Corner"
~6-7 pgs of personal memoir for Creative Non-Fiction
~Adobe Flash project....
Add to all this that this is my final semester and I would like to go out with a bang - with good grades. In the wake of all of this, I went to Lee's and picked up some necessary supplies: Dr Pepper, Easy Cheese, Chocolate Twizzlers, and toothpaste (I was nearly out). I tend to turn to junk food when I'm stressed; probably not the best solution, but whatever. Anyway, now that I've vented to the cyberworld, I'll be heading off to be productive. Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My Dog Can Beat Up Your Dog

Today, as I left the house for class I saw a tiny dog in a sweater. The tiny dog was walking across my lawn and stopped for a moment to look at me. It looked like it was contemplating barking at me, but then it moved on, turning around every few steps to look at me again. I thought about saying to the dog "You don't intimidate me! Who do you think you are, tiny sweatered dog, to look at me so menacingly? That sweater denies you of any sort of terror you might hope to muster up with your itsy-bitsy yippity dog bark." The thought occurred to me that I could bring my own dog out and he could probably beat the crap out of that insignificant puff ball varmint.

I think that if you're going to have a dog, you should go big or go home. My paternal grandma had poodles and other small dogs when I was growing up. One of her poodles, Gidget, was a fat lap dog. I had no problems with this dog, plus I was a considerably smaller person. Her other poodle, Pokey, was....a unique dog. He wasn't albino, I don't think, but he had red eyes and white hair, including a shock of hair on the top of his head that stood straight up as if it he had been traipsing about an electro-magnetic field. When my grandma died, her dogs went to new homes, and while we eventually heard of Gidget's passing, we never heard anything about Pokey. We're pretty sure that he's still wandering the earth.

The dog we have now, Sherlock, is a big dog. I don't really think of him as a big dog, since I'm used having him around, but everyone says that he is big. I like that he is a substantial dog. When I hear those songs and sayings about how the more boys a girl meets, the more she likes her dog, I think about Sherlock. Sometimes, a girl comes home and needs a hug, and if no one is available a dog can do a pretty good job of it. Plus, I feel safe having Sherlock around. I would never dream of sending a rat dog to do the job of a real dog.

Now, the down side of having such a big dog is that they are hard to care for, like taking them for walks and such. I can take Sherlock out, but it takes a lot of arm strength to do it. For this reason, I will probably not own a dog of my own for quite some time. Maybe when I'm married and my husband can be buff and walk the dog, I will reconsider, but at this point I would rather live without a dog than succumb to the fate of the tiny dog owner. Here's to you, big dogs!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My Own Personal Jean Valjean

Today, I woke up with a migraine. However, this story is not about the migraine. The migraine was merely the setting for a story to take place. I had taken some prescription medication and eaten half a roll (so something would be in my stomach) before rolling back into bed to wait it out. I had placed the roll on my bed next to my pillow in case my stomach decided to admit any more nutrition. Anyway, as I lay in bed, keeping my eyes covered and willing my Imitrex to kick in, I heard my dog enter the room. He had been sniffing at my roll earlier and I assumed he was coming to get a closer look. I sensed that he lingered, and though the pain in my eye was excruciating and I was using all my will power not to throw up, I knew that my dog had stolen the roll from beside my pillow. I knew that when I opened my eyes and looked over, my roll would be gone.

And so it was. Luckily, the migraine passed and as I turned to get up and get ready for class, I saw that the roll was gone. What's more, there was no sign of the roll. Either he consumed it in its entirety or it is hidden somewhere in the bowels of the house...or something less dramatic than that.

Either roll was gone.