Speechwriting: Corporate, Weddings, Retirement

10/31/09

Juncture - Rich or Poor?

An older poem.

Juncture
by Anthony Trendl

In the days when I was rich,
I lived humbly, frugally,
but happy of heart
so that in the days when I was poor
I could live humbly, frugally,
but happy of heart.

And in the days when I was poor,
I lived lavishly, with flair,
but careful in my soul
so that in the days when I was rich,
I could live lavishly, with flair,
but careful in my soul.

In nearing now the age called dust,
I am free to be blown as April lint,
my riches and poverty left in my children's hands.
My lavish flair and careful ways better given
so that theirs are the days more humbly spent.

10/14/09

"And the Band Played On: Temptations Ultimate Collection Greatest Hits CD review



The Ultimate Collection
The Ultimate Collection: Temptations CD

The first couplet of the first song begins:
You've got a smile so bright, you know you could've been a candle.
I'm holding you so tight, you know you could've been a handle.
Anyone who has heard of the Temptations knows those lines from their classic "The Way You Do the Things You Do." It is crisply sung, almost doo-wop. It never loses its poise or falls into cliche.

Most of these songs were hits. If the titles don't jar your memory, listen to the samples. Expect to know at least 10 of these.

A couple weak links are present in "Treat Her Like a Lady" and "Error of Our Ways." In these two songs, there's no funk, no soul, and no depth. Both are acceptable, as pop R&B, but are musically pallid when compared to "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" and "Ball of Confusion."

The liner notes provide a puffy history, and credits song-by-song. That's not why this is worth buying. It is the sheer cool class and sway of the Temptations greatest hits. A couple songs might be left off, but most are here.

I fully recommend "The Ultimate Collection" by the Temptations.

Anthony Trendl
"A brave effort at cramming one disc full of Temptations classics, The Ultimate Collection nevertheless makes a couple of puzzling choices. Why, for instance, include "Error of Our Ways," a very minor mid-'90s hit, and ignore "Beauty Is Only Skin Deep" or "I Could Never Love Another (After Loving You)," both number ones from their classic period? Still, for the price, it's hard to argue with." --Rickey Wright
  1. Way You Do the Things You Do
  2. My Girl
  3. It's Growing
  4. Since I Lost My Baby
  5. Don't Look Back
  6. Get Ready
  7. Ain't Too Proud to Beg
  8. (I Know) I'm Losing You
  9. All I Need
  10. You're My Everything
  11. Angel Doll
  12. I Wish It Would Rain
  13. Cloud Nine
  14. I Can't Get Next to You
  15. Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)
  16. Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)
  17. Papa Was a Rolling Stone
  18. Shakey Ground
  19. Treat Her Like a Lady
  20. Error of Our Ways
  21. My Girl [Acappella][Excerpt]

10/10/09

Apple Sauce Recipe for Men - 20 minutes and you are eating


Why men? I'm a guy. I made this recipe up based on some ingredients a buddy mentioned over the phone while I stood in a grocery store. He looked them up on the internet, and found them on some blog. I didn't measure anything, unless counting apples counts.

 
Ingredients
  • 4 Macintosh apples
  • 4 golden delicious apples
  • Honey
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Decent cognac
  1. Cored by chopping off a chunk from each side, leaving skin on. It is easier this way.
  2. Toss into a big pot with a little water.
  3. Flame on medium-high.
  4. Cover with heavy top.
  5. Go watch the game for two-three minutes. Not longer.
  6. Stir every few minutes since what you really want to do is look like you know what you are doing.
  7. Gently squish apples with potato masher. Let the apples know who is in charge.
  8. As things go along, turn down the heat. No one wants burned apples.
  9. When all apples are squished, use tongs to relieve the apple skins of their duty. These will be easy to grab. Toss them in the garbage disposal and grind them up, sending them to neverland.
  10. With heat on low, add some honey, cinnamon, cognac to taste. Too much is too much, so watch it.
  11. Note, the cognac adds a quietly nutty flavor, but also adds sweetness, so be careful with that honey.
  12. Heat a little longer until it looks like apple sauce.
  13. Cool until you can't handle it, then grab a spoon and eat.
    Or, if you have company, put it in a fancy bowl only used for visitors.
  14. There will not be any left, so don't worry about saving them in a nice Tupperware or anything.

10/9/09

Barack Obama Rejects the Nobel Peace Prize

In a brief, but eloquent speech, President Barack Obama turns down the esteemed Nobel Peace Prize.

Realizing the award's intrinsic deficiencies that ruined the musical career of U2 front man and 2008 winner Bono, who ever after turned out songs no one liked, and of Yasser Arafat. Arafat, famously peaceful and anti-military until his 1994 award, but then turned into a warmongering beast. The President wisely knew he was not capable of pressing through the tests such an award can offer. He was not as strong as Jimmy Carter, also a US president, who accepted the award in 2002, and since then has always said the right thing.

The President recognized he was not being awarded by just the Nobel committee, but a vast legion of interspatial congregation of lords.

"Lord Lightyear, Lord Spock, Lord Mork, Lord Jar Jar, and Lord Kal-El, I am honored. Citizens of the universe and of that vague place called heaven, I cannot in good faith accept this cherished prize so long as we are at war, and so long as the Peace Mother lives."

He then whispered something in Neptunian to indicate his oneness with the universe, "No-Salami Yukkum", meaning: "Peace be upon plants and animals, who are our gods." It was also an acknowledgement to the universal commission for the ethical treatment of plant life. Up until the Obama Administration, the vegan and vegetarian community, teamed up insidiously with the evil omnivorians, terrorized the vegetable world, methodical ripping plant life from their native land and devouring them. Then, a quiet mineral eater spoke with a loud voice, "Remember the lichen," and protests ensued, almost destroying all life in the known interplanetary stellar regions. The President's nod continued as he celebrated his prize rejection by lifting up a glass of purified hydrogen-oxygen drink and breaking nutrient bread, a tasty nitrogen bar dipped in a carbonic sauce.

10/5/09

Why I am not a teacher

I have taught on and off much of my life. First, as a private tutor, working with as many as a dozen students each week. Later, in a jail and as a substitute teacher, and in some adjunct classes at the elementary school level. I have been told I have the knack. I think they are right. I love kids, connect with them well, and usually have more energy. I also know what a tough time school can be. I am enthusiastic about my subject, and it shows.

Every so often, I get the question: why don't you teach? The money and hours are not bad. Coworkers would be smart. There is a chance to make a difference in a kid's life.

You betcha. All of that is true.

But I am am not a teacher. Why not?

One word: unions.

I'm no fan of unions. I decided not to become a teacher largely based on watching what unions did to my school system. I understand a basic argument for their existence, but think they are too involved in politics, personal lives, and offer a school no choice but to hire a union teacher. Freedom gets killed.

Not all schools are patsies to their union, nor is every local union politically partisan. My schools growing up seem to have been. My high school was the worst. A few places I subbed in also demonstrated they were unable to dialogue.

I am an opinionated person. I tell people what I think. At my work place, however, I do not want fights.

At one place, a peer was so anti-Obama, I felt uncomfortable, and it impacted the quality of my work. And Obama is the last guy I will vote for. This colleague was as bad as the anti-Bush people. At a place I contracted (not a school), the full-timer was intimidated by me, and stole my ideas. Unions were univolved in each work context, but the tension was more than I wanted. I did not fight. Not at work.

If a school I worked at had a union fight, I would quit. It means that either the leadership is not taking care of the teachers, or the unions were just being whiny. Who suffers? Not just the kids, but any teacher who dares disagree with the union he had no choice but to join. The leaders lose leadership. Money is blown on lawyers, so taxpayers suffer.

None for me, thanks.

10/1/09

I Want To Be a Paperback Writer - A Re-interpretation

Many people aspire to live the life of an author: To be able to linger among those great men and women of letters and laugh at erudite jokes, to drink wine with unpronounceable names, to dream the impossible dream, and then get paid for it. Whatever reality is missing from this imagined life of intellectual bliss is made up for in persistence. Good writers sweat more than they dream, and they dream often.

Paul McCartney understood this desire and put it to words and music. I'm unable, for various laws involving copyrights, to publish those lyrics. Instead, I am adjusting the words with books and other products. Some of the connections are cloudy, you'll find them all "if you take a look." :)

You can find the song below on the album, 'The Beatles 1', which is a collection of their number one hits.

Paperback Writer



by Paul McCartney, as re-interpreted through products that can purchased online

Dear 'To Sir, With Love' or 'Madame Bovary', will you read my 'Book'?
It took me 'Baby Years' to 'Write On', will you take a 'New Look'?
Based on a 'Barbie Romance Novel Giftset' by a man named 'Sub 4:00: Alan Webb and the Quest for the Fastest Mile'
And I need a 'Monster.com', so I want to be a 'Ingram Paperback Advance' writer -- Paperback writer

It’s the 'A Handful of Dirt' story of a 'Benny Hill, King Leer'
And his 'Saran Classic, Plastic Wrap' 'The Bishop's Wife' 'You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation'
His 'Son-In-Law' is working for the 'Daily Mail',
It’s a 'Slow and Steady Get Me Ready' 'The CareerBuilder Network' but he wants to be a 'Paperback Writer' -- Paperback writer

It’s a 'The Ultimate Brownie Book : Thousands of Ways to Make America's Favorite Treat, including Blondies, Frostings, and Doctored Brownie Mixes' 'The First Five Pages: A Writer's Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile', 'Horace's Compromise' a few,
I’ll be 'On Writing' more in a 'Body for Life: 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strength'
I can make it longer if you like the 'The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition',
I can 'Leading Change' it 'The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things' and I want to be a paperback writer -- Paperback writer

If you really like it you can have the 'Gideon's Trumpet',
It could make 'The First $20 Million Is Always the Hardest' for you 'Overnight'.
If you must 'Return to the River: The Classic Story of the Chinook Run and of the Men Who Fish It' it, you can send it here
But 'Gimme a Break, Rattlesnake!: Schoolyard Chants and Other Nonsense' and I want to be a paperback writer -- Paperback writer



Paperback Writer - The Beatles