Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday Possibilities

So this week has been crappy. Sorry, kids, but that's just how I feel. Seattle has a gun problem and I have a middle school girl problem and the poor people are STILL starving.


But you know. pouring the contents of my navel into this blog wouldn't be entertaining. You'll have to trust me on that one, my dear Rancourtesans. Not attractive. Instead of dwelling on the bad (which, more often than not, has jumped up and grabbed me by the tonsils), I've been meditating on possibilities. Like, what can I learn from all of this?

And more importantly, can I change up the way I'm looking at things to find a different place to hang out? Perhaps a prettier place, where the people are nicer and the kids smile more? Oh, and as long as I'm at it, where everyone's thin and athletic and beautiful?

Oh, wait. That's LA.

Nah, I'm kidding. I looked at a couple of comedy videos, but they weren't quite the lotion I needed. Instead, as I've done for most of my life, I started listening.

To Ella.

Because, it doesn't get much better than that. 

Trolling the Ella Fitzgerald videos on YouTube, I came across this one for One Note Samba  which actually captures what I was after. She uses her voice as an instrument, and while most serious vocalists will tell you that their voice IS an instrument, the addition of words, of text, of poetry, usually forces the voice into a different category than, say, a trombone or clarinet. Listen to Ella, and hear the possibilities. She demands that you rethink your expectations for vocal and instrumental music.

I was talking about this stuff with Noni, and she came up with another piece that's headed in the same direction. This video of the Miles Davis song Freddie Freeloader is performed Bobby McFerrin, Jon Hendricks, Al Jarreau, and Geogre Benson. They use their voices for what are typically instrumental parts, and while they do use lyrics, the words are incidental. The important thing is the sound, the music.

And I suppose it's appropriate to turn to this style of music right now, since one of the shootings in Seattle happened in a cafe that has regular live jazz performances. It's going to take a while to see the possibilities in that situation, so for now holding onto the memories will have to do.

So hug your babies even when those babies are caught up in the throes of adolescent angst, cuz life is short and unpredictable. Remember that the only thing you can control is your own response to the random things that happen. And enjoy a little more Ella as she sings about the Stairway To The Stars.


(I'm adding this's a link to an article on The Seattle Times website with more info about what happened here the other day.)


  1. You hit all the right notes for this crazy week.

  2. Thanks Shannon. This stuff just hit a little too close to home.

  3. This is the first I'd heard of this particular shooting. What a terrible tragedy :(

  4. Mike - I'm going to add a link with more details about what went on. The surrounding schools were in lockdown (including my daughter's), which added an extra layer of stress. Thanks for checking out the post.

  5. Yeah, that sounds especially worrying.

  6. Sorry you're having such a rough week. I LOVE Ella - the video clips you posted were fabulous. I hope she has brought you some relief. Here's to hoping next week is a better one. I'm sending a hug your way. :)

  7. Oh that is so stressful, Liv! I hadn't heard about this before you wrote about it.

    And thanks for the Ella fix. I do love Ella.