Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The TMI 'Fest — and an Anniversary!

The blog is turning 5! 

Back on June 1st, 2011, when the first post went up on Quiet Laughter, I had no clue what blogging was, or how the blogging world would shape my life. And me. It's been a magical discovery... And to celebrate I'm joining Debbie D. Doglady's bloghop, The TMI 'Fest. Originally started on Facebook (yep, I answered there, too), the TMI—Too Much Information—Questionnaire has now been brought over into the blogosphere. Join the fun—if you dare! Sign up, before July 13th, in the linky at Debbie's blog (or at the end of this post).

This is me, from A to Z

A: Age

43 (1973)

B: Biggest fear

Being unable to protect my dogs from harm. (As in someone breaking into the house to rob us and hurting the dogs.)

C: Current time

1:27 pm (Took me some time to complete this post, as you can see...)

D: Drink you last had

Hazelnut cappuccino, from Barista. (Just like MIRACLE protagonist Luis Villalobos :D )

E: Every day starts with

"Today I'm going to write all day. No, seriously."

F: Favourite Song

Pfffff... Impossible choice. 'Bittersweet Symphony' (The Verve), maybe. 'Wish You Were Here', or pretty much anything by Pink Floyd. 'Solsbury Hill' (Peter Gabriel) is my go-to for feel-good. And lately, because I've been on an R.E.M. kick, there's Leaving New York.

G: Ghosts, are they real?

No. (If you mean in the supernatural, scary-apparition sense.)

H: Hometown

Cuernavaca (Mexico)

I: In love with


J: Jealous of?

Jennifer Egan (writer, A Visit From The Goon Squad)

K: Killed someone?

I hope not.

L: Last time you cried?

Pfffff... I tear up easily. Animal rescue videos, stories of kindness, father-oriented poetry... All of those (and more) will make me shed a tear or two. But cry-cry, as in heaving-sobs-cry? The last time I was in Cuernavaca, paging through my dad's high school yearbook. My dad died in 1992 and, although the loss never gets easier, in the near-quarter-century since I've learned to live with it. Every now and then, though, it'll sneak in a surprisingly incisive sting. This wasn't the first time I pored over that yearbook, but all of a sudden it hit me: all these stories of his high school days that I'd never hear, all these names and scribbled autographs—he was a popular kid, my dad—that I'd never be able to ask him about, an entire chapter of his life that I'll only know in the sketchiest way.

M: Middle name

No middle name. Which is fairly uncommon in Mexico, especially since my name, being a product of my dad's creative mind, isn't in the list of "Christian" names. Then again, both my parents were atheists, so having a church-endorsed moniker for their child was probably not high on their list of priorities.

N: Number of siblings

None. (Also pretty weird for a Mexican family.)

O: One wish

To set up and run an animal sanctuary.

P: Person you last called?

Cor, natuurlijk :)

Q: Question you're always asked

"How did you end up in Curaçao?"

R: Reason to smile

Too many to list. But they usually have something to do with dogs.

S: Sounds that annoy you

The Haitian handyman at the apartment complex next door has this habit of singing while he works. The same song, over and over. Not even the whole song but just a piece of it (or maybe it's a very short song). Over and over. A cheery, sort of childish, kind of tune. It annoys the hell out of me. And yes, I realize how petty this is.

T: Time you woke up

Eek. Today? Around 10, I think. I stayed up way too late last night watching movies. Black Sea, to be exact. (It was good.)

U: Underwear colour

I actually need to check, haha. Okay, black. (I did warn you this was a TMI 'fest, didn't I?)

V: Vacation destination

As in favorite? Or as in bucket list? Favorite so far I'd say Perú. Most visited would be either Holland or Mexico (for obvious reasons). Highest on the bucket list would be South Asia.

W: Worst habit


X: X-Rays you've had

I don't think I've had any. Maybe teeth, back when I was a kid and orthodontists were all the rage.

Y: Your favourite food

Sla-vinken met spinazie—but only if Cor makes it.

Sla-vinken (or blinden vinken) is a typically Dutch sausage-like thing...
Ground meat (we won't ask exactly what meat) wrapped in bacon, and
served with potatoes and spinach (spinazie). Probably doesn't sound too exotic,
but to this Mexican's taste buds it's pure heaven.

Z: Zodiac sign


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Drift Away — #BoTB Results

Sorry I'm late with the results, guys. (Not sure what happened to my Tuesday :D ) Because these two songs were so different not just from the original but from the Dobie Gray version we all (I think) know best, I expected the votes to be more evenly distributed. I even dreaded thought maybe we'd end up with a tie, which I'd be forced to break. Or make. Fortunately (for me, not for Ringo and his all-stars), after a rocky start—pardon the pun—the Stones managed to run away with the Battle.

Here's the breakdown:

Ringo & The Gang: 4

Rolling Stones: 9

Much gratitude to everyone who came by to listen and vote, and share your thoughts on the music. It's always a pleasure to feel a part of this BoTB community.

To close, I leave you with another Stones cover... Well, it's semi-Stones, really. Keith Richards and Norah Jones sing Love Hurts. But, in spite of Norah's presence (and Mick's absence), I think it qualifies as appropriately cringe-worthy :D

Happy Hump Day, all!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

#BoTB — Drift Away

Gimme the beat, boys,
and free my soul
I want to get lost in your rock n' roll
and drift away...

All I've got to do is hum that chorus and my feet start tappin' and my soul starts liftin'. But I always wondered about one thing. It's very clearly a country song—maybe that's just the context I heard it in, or the context of the versions I knew: Dobie Gray, Roy Orbison, Ray Charles, Garth Brooks—but the lyrics, also very clearly, say rock n' roll. For years it stayed one of those weird discrepancies people of my generation (i.e., who grew up without YouTube or Wikipedia or any such) learned to live with.

Until today.

Turns out Drift Away (written by Mentor Williams) may have been famous by Dobie Gray—his version stole the show in 1973—but the original was recorded in 1972 by John Henry Kurtz—and that version totally does sound rock n' roll-ish.

This song has been covered a lot (I mean, Michael Bolton? Really?), and most versions have the Dobie Gray country feel, but I managed to find two that (sort of) don't... And I'm not talking light-weights, either. The first is by none other than the Rolling Stones, an unreleased version that does not include Keith Richards in the line-up—which might explain the odd, not-quite-Rolling-Stone sound:

And to challenge that, we have another group of legends: Ringo Starr, Tom Petty, and Alanis Morissette, and Steve Tyler, with an arrangement that, to me at least, sounds straight-up Ringo (not a bad thing):

What do you think? Which version do you like better? Did the gritty uniformity of the Stones win you over, or did you prefer the color lent by the eclectic vocal choices of the Ringo version? Looking forward to your feedback! I'll be back next Wednesday to tally up the votes, cast my own, and tell you how it all went down.

In the meantime, hop on over to these blogs where more epic Battles are being fought. As always, much gratitude to host Stephen T. McCarthy for keeping the Battle hop not just going but roaring. (And yet, yes, we do miss you, FAE.)

Monday, May 23, 2016

#BoTB Results: 'Storms'

Sorry for posting these results so late, guys. (Where did the week go???) Suspense notwithstanding, no surprise ending for this Battle. You all have spoken, loud and clear:

Best Coast: 3

Matt Sweeney & Bonnie 'Prince' Billy: 14


Well, there you have it. Would it make any sense for me to vote at this point? Probably not, eh? If I vote for Best Coast, it feels like a pity vote. If, on the other hand, I go for Matt & the gang, it feels like playing it safe. I'm not sure which makes me more uncomfortable, this or when it's up to me to break (or make!) a tie. Still, we gotta do what we gotta do...

There was something off about Best Coast, and I felt it from the first time I heard it, but I couldn't put my finger on it. Then someone made the comment that Best Coast sounded like they were trying too hard, and that nailed it. The Sweeney duo, on the other hand, sounds like they were born to this song.

So, after much deliberation—seriously, I really do like both versions—goes to Sweeney & 'Prince'.

See you all on the 1st! In the meantime, happy blogging :)

P.S. — FAE, I'm going to miss you. Thank you for almost a year of BoTB fun!
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