Monday, July 15, 2013

5 Things I Found For You On The Internet

1. This is one of those videos I watched/listened to with my mouth wide open because I was in awe:

2. A photo of an elephant meeting a sea lion at the Oregon Zoo made my day today. Maybe it will make yours a little better, too:

3. Here is a tip that I thought everyone already knew regarding rainstorms and laptops. If you are living/working in NYC and not doing this already, get your act together. Hint: the photo is not the tip. This is.

4. This is one of the best ads I've seen in a long time:

5. And last but not least...

Have a great week!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

My Latest Favorite Funny Thing

One of my favorite things to do is share things that make me laugh until I cry. I recently began following a YouTube video series that meets this criteria. It is billed as "Actual conversations with my 2-year old daughter, as re-enacted by me and another full grown man."

This is the episode that made me laugh (and cry) the hardest:

My second favorite episode is called "The Pants."

You can watch all of the episodes here (and since there are only 6 episodes, there's no excuse not to watch them all!)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

We Built This City

Last night was one of those "full circle" nights. Allow me to explain...

I have loved music since before I can even remember. This is not an exaggeration. I can, however, tell you that one of my first embedded musical memories involves Starship. Not Jefferson Starship... Starship.

My family and I were visiting our friends in New Jersey -- the Nolans. We loved this family. Still do. We don't get to see them nearly enough, but the love is still there. So, we were visiting, and I can remember being in my friend Colleen's room when she put a Starship record on and started playing "We Built This City." I can remember thinking, "Wait a minute now, what's all of this?!" It's important to remember that it was probably 1985 and I was 7 years old. This was literally the coolest thing I could have heard. And it was. I can remember dancing around like a fool. A FOOL.

When I saw Starship last night in Hamden, history repeated itself. After a full concert, Jenn and I were heading out because it had started to rain, but we were both hoping to hear the iconic song, so we walked really slowly back to the car. At the last possible moment, I heard the familiar wail from the stage: "WE BUILT THIS CITY!" I screamed, "YES!!!!!!" and ran back toward the stage to take a short video (after dancing around with my lawn chair in my arms.) Twenty-eight years later... different venue... different good friend... SAME DANCE.

Full circle night.

I recorded what I could after my dance (and before it started to pour):

I should address that I am aware of what most people think of this song. Here are two stats:

In 2011 a Rolling Stone magazine online poll named "We Built This City" as the worst song of the 1980s. The song's winning margin was so large that the magazine reported it "could be the biggest blow-out victory in the history of the Rolling Stone Readers Poll".

The defunct magazine Blender's ranking of the song as the worst song ever was in conjunction with a VH1 Special of The 50 Most Awesomely Bad Songs...Ever. In order to qualify for the distinction, the songs on the list had to be a popular hit at some point, thus disqualifying many songs that would by consensus be considered much worse. 

It doesn't matter. This song, for some reason, changed things for me. And I remember that moment. I remember that dance. And I am an avid music lover with a vast music collection. So, I promise that you can like "We Built This City" and still be well-versed in music. I am happy to show my iTunes library (and my dance) to anyone who disagrees.

Here is a bonus video of Nothing's Gonna Stop Us, which also holds great memories for me:

Definitely impressed and pleasantly surprised with last night's concert. My familiar refrain is always, "They don't make music like that anymore." But at least the ones who made the music to begin with are still putting it out there.

Jenn, thank you for standing in the rain with me.

Colleen, thank you for being one of the catalysts in my lifelong love affair with music.

Starship, as long as you promise you won't retire the music, I promise I won't retire the dance.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Boston Fourth of July

Yes, I am in the midst of a job search. Yes, I have been applying to jobs all day (on a Saturday, on a holiday weekend.) I cannot, however, let another second go by without posting these videos.

I had the pleasure of sailing on Old Ironsides this Fourth of July and then watching Boston's spectacular fireworks display after enjoying the Boston Pops on the Esplanade. I felt like I was watching the world's best fireworks display while hanging out with friends in my backyard.

2013 is the first year in more than two decades that the Boston fireworks did not air on TV because CBS didn't renew the contract. People need to see these. They were spectacular. The music was perfect, the timing was impeccable, there were more than a few tears being wiped away in the city that night.

I've watched this video three times since Independence Day. It "pauses" twice in the middle, but the feed comes back quickly, so just enjoy :)

Without a doubt, the most incredible part of the night was before the fireworks when Officer Dic Donohue walked up onto the stage to conduct the Pops as they played I'm Shipping Up To Boston. Holding his crutches by his sides, he waved the baton and Boston's unofficial anthem filled the air. He had tears in his eyes and a big smile on his face. Officer Donohue was wounded as a first responder during the Boston bombings and subsequent gunfight. He is an American hero, through and through.

I will never forget watching half a million people jump to their feet to cheer this man on. Everyone near me was sitting before Officer Donohue took the stage. The minute he was announced, EVERYONE jumped up. We sang, we cheered, we danced. We celebrated the moment.

What a moment. What a night. What a city. What a country.

Here is a video I took of the 21-gun salute on Old Ironsides:

Even cooler, here is a video I took of the 17-gun salute for the Coast Guard, taken from below deck on Old Ironsides. I was just trying to stay out of the sun when I found myself in the middle of the action! My favorite part? It's two girls loading the cannon! You go, girls!!!

I like their concentration and teamwork. I like how they are in it together. I like how they celebrate a job well done at the end.

Over the past couple of days, I've been reminded over and over again that sometimes it's enough to rejoice even in the smallest of victories. With that in mind, I leave you with this quote from Firefly:

Simon: "You have the Alliance on you; criminals and savages. Half the people on this ship have been shot or wounded, including yourself... and you're harboring known fugitives."
Mal: "We're still flying."
Simon: "That's not much."
Mal: "It's enough."

Against all odds, we're still flying. All of us. And... for now... it's enough. It's enough for Old Ironsides. It's enough for the Pops. It's enough for Officer Dic Donohue, and for his wife, and for his family. It's enough for the people of Boston. And, it's enough for me. If we're still flying, the story isn't over. There's still time to change the plot and the arc of our stories.

As always, here's to new beginnings. Here's to having another chance to get it right.

Happy Independence Day.