Πέμπτη, Φεβρουαρίου 23, 2006

A Modest Proposal

Upon further consideration, here's my suggestion re: the whole ports thing.

Go ahead. Let DPW buy the management company, for all the good and pleasant reasons Bush et al. have suggested. International good will, helping an ally, incorporating Arab states into western democracy, etc.

In return, congress, Homeland Security, the Coast Guard, everyone who's currently concerned, gets serious about port security. Like, really. Better screening of employees, containers, visitors, seagulls, the works. Make those puppies secure. Let Dubai send them paychecks. But let's ourselves start running some serious background checks, k?

And while we're at it, let's take a few more stabs at making the airports safer, and maybe, just for kicks and grins, start enforcing the border.

Quick, strike while the irons hot and people actually seem to be worried about what gets in and out!

Τετάρτη, Φεβρουαρίου 22, 2006

Worth it All -- An Update

So, after reading my "Worth it All" post of...last month... my mother wrote Joe White, who runs Kanakuk, and who is one of my favorite people EVER, and he's sending me a copy. Yay for Joe White! And soon, I will have the proper version of "Worth it All." Huzzah!

Dear George: An Open Letter

Dear George,

I can call you George, right? We're in that place, yes? Okay, good. Here's the thing, George. I like you. Really. I do. I realize that I'm one of about 4 people left in the country who still like you, still more or less think you know what you're doing, still think you're the best man for the job, at least out of the options presented. I mention this to provide some level of context for my next statement, which is simply:


You ask, "Why is it that it's any different, selling the management of our ports to the Arabs, rather than to the British?"

George, I never thought I'd have to stop and speak very slowly to you. Apparently I was wrong.

Listen carefully.

The British have not tried to kill us for a very long time. Sure, there was that whole Revolution thing, where we tried to kill them, and that whole 1812 thing where they tried to kill us, but that was a long time ago, and we've more or less worked it out -- we get to keep the deer, the antelope, and high-caliber rifles with which to shoot said deer and antelope at play, they get to keep their be-wigged jurists and suggestively named foods. We're friends now. When one of us has troubles with pesky terrorists or Luftwaffe, we just give the other a call and fire up the ol' troops and go blow some Anglo-Saxon holes in things. That's what friends are for.

On the other hand, the Arabs, we have a much more questionable relationship. Sure, sometimes they let us use their turf to stage missions to go blow holes in things. However, they also let other people use their turf to blow holes in us. This leads people such as myself to wonder if they might, in fact, use OUR turf to allow people, the sorts of people we'll call "terrorists," or, if we are Reuters, "insurgents," to blow holes in OUR things. Speaking as a person who currently lives on one of the things that most recently got assaulted, this strikes me as a bad idea. You see?

Now, I always allow for the possibility that Karl Rove is doing some brilliant political jujitsu. If that is the case, feel free to proceed, as long as you don't give the ports to Dubai. I mean, I'm all for the free market. But...no.

Okay. I think I've explained my position. That was simple, wasn't it?

Have a good night, George. Try not to do anything stupid and/or leading to fatalities that involve me, k?


Τρίτη, Φεβρουαρίου 21, 2006


Today was a good day. I presented the Brand New Opening Number to my musical to the faculty and they thought it was brilliant. Points to me!

I also had a casting meeting to try to find people to perform it and hopefully I'll be able to have my first choices there. We'll see. If all goes as planned, I will have worked with 75% of the cast before this. More importantly, the girl we want to play the lead already knows the hardest song. And when I say hard song, I really, really mean it. I write music that my advisor likes to refer to as "crunchy." So hopefully she'll be able to do it because a) she's brilliant, b) I actually based how the character looks on her and c) she knows "Spark".

On the topic of "Spark," my former piano/composition teacher, who has rather unorthodox theories of pedagogy that run right along the border of genius and insanity, and I have been having an ongoing discussion of how in heaven's name one is supposed to count that song. I think probably the simplest answer is, "You're not." It's fast, it's chromatic, it has some wild rhythmic things going on, and if you're counting, you're probably doomed already. (This discussion is further complicated by the fact that she does not use numbers. And if you're reading this, Mrs. ****, I don't either...) Nonetheless, I'm attempting to re-bar it for legibility.

I realize that's not extrordinarily interesting. But it's what I'm thinking about today.

Δευτέρα, Φεβρουαρίου 20, 2006


I just wrote a song the text of which is an abridged version of Proverbs 31:10-30ish. Infinite P31W points to me! I'd like to cash them in now, please. Actually, on second thought....not yet. Please.


I've been in Connecticut for the last week. The week prior to that I was working and it was nutty. I'm back.

Πέμπτη, Φεβρουαρίου 02, 2006

Worth It All -- A Tragedy

I was pawing (well, scrolling) through my old music collection last night, and there I found Michael W. Smith's "Worth It All" was suddenly struck by the betrayal and outrage, pent up all these years...

Perhaps I should explain.

I went to Kanakuk Kamps (actually, being a girl, I went to Kanakomo, but same general outfit) for 9 years. Wonderful place. They put the FUN in "Fundamentalist". Actually, it's more very-conservative evangelical. Anyway. Every year, Michael W. Smith writes the theme song for that year of Kamp, and then he comes and does a concert. While I was there, theme songs included, "Out of This World," "Straight to the Heart," "Solid as the Rock," "Bound to Win," "Live the Life," etc. And some of those were good songs, but by the time I got to my 8th or 9th year, it had been a long time since his last really great song.

And then came "Worth it All." And it was a spectacularly good song. Everybody liked it. You could listen to it over and over. The verse was all dark and kinda modal, and then the verse broke into this really awesome thing. I don't remember exactly. My favorite song he's ever written. Hands down.

So here's the outrage. We all hear "Worth It All" is coming out on the "This Is Your Time" album. I've only ever physically bought about a dozen cds in my life, and I'd never bought a MWS cd at all. But I went out and bought This Is Your Time just to get my precious "Worth It All." I brought it home and put it in the CD player, and to my shock, dismay, and outrage, it was an entirely different song. Well, not entirely. Musically, the chorus was approximately the same. The verses had been transformed from a fine dark chocolate to a melty neopolitain ice cream. No mystery, no flavor, no personality.

Was I upset about the bait-and-switch? Partially. But mostly, it's knowing that somewhere out there, just out of my reach, is the good version of "Worth It All." It's also tragic to me that MWS looked the best song he's ever written in the eye and said, "I can make you mediocre."

If anybody is harboring a lonely orphan copy of the Kanakuk version, I want it. Please.