Word Crimes by Weird Al

weird al     Okay, I admit that Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” will get me dancing every time. And this mega-hit inspired Weird Al to create, “Word Crimes.” As soon as I heard this parody, I knew I had to post it. So, here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Gv0H-vPoDc

     To see some of the other songs on the album, “Mandatory Fun,” click here: http://www.thewire.com/entertainment/2014/07/ranking-weird-als-new-parodies-who-gets-skewered-best/374466/

     Another great parody album. Thanks, Weird Al!

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Happy Father’s Day!

     What can I say about my dad? He is the most hardworking, loving and intelligent man I know. He would do anything in the world for me, my brother and my mom. He is a good man. Plain and simple. Of course, there are times when he drives us all nuts, but that’s part of his quintessential charm.
     Dad is the life of every party. When his blue eyes twinkle, God only knows what he’s thinking or what’s coming next. He is definitely not the most politically correct person you will ever meet, but he is one of the most entertaining. The songs he wrote for his coworkers’ retirement parties were legendary. He even had backup singers. And those backup singers accompanied me during the retirement song I wrote and performed for him.
     People who meet my mother for the first time usually start the conversation with, “We always wondered who could put up with him. Is he like that all the time?”
     She answers, “Yes, he is. We’ve been together for over fifty years. And I haven’t killed him yet.”
     However, there were times when we wondered if he was trying to kill us. His vacations were death-defying adventures. Seriously. If we didn’t come close to getting maimed or killed, it wasn’t a good vacation. He got several ideas from those nice people in National Geographic. That should paint you a better picture right there.
     Imagine if you will a 9-year-old and a 12-year-old and their parents, wearing regular sneakers, carrying no food or water, clinging to chains driven into the side of a cliff with railroad spikes, navigating narrow ledges to reach Havasu Falls at the bottom of The Grand Canyon. Oh, I forgot to mention that we also had heavy camera equipment around our necks. That crazy family was us. We have the pictures and video to prove it.
     Growing up, Dad was the cool dad. He rigged up a car stereo and 6×9 speakers in the garage, so we could listen to music outside. He would play oldies or rock, sometimes country. This was while the neighbor across the street was broadcasting Willie Nelson, or the soundtrack from Evita or the soundtrack from Les Mis.
     Don’t get me wrong, I love Evita and Les Mis now, but listening to those soundtracks as a child was depressing. So, thank God, Dad’s system was louder. To this day, he still cranks it up loud. Of course now that might be because his hearing isn’t what it used to be.
     When he would bring home a new car, the neighborhood boys would come over to “oooh” and “aaah” over it. They’d ask tons of questions that he was more than happy to answer. Then he’d spend the next two hours washing it.
     I think I volunteered him to be the DJ for my 8th grade ’50s/’60s sock hop. He lugged his record player, a slew of records, stereo system and speakers to the school. Everybody, including the teachers, had a blast. He even came up with a trivia game and handed out prizes.
     In high school, he took me to all of the Father/Daughter Dinner Dances. We danced energetically to the fast songs. And we serenaded each other as we danced to the slow songs. We were quite the pair!
     He was proud when I followed in his footsteps and went to GMI Engineering & Management Institute. (It was General Motors Institute when he went there.) I was mortified when I had to explain my Dad’s nickname for me to my college roommate. She answered the phone, and he thought it was me and greeted her, “Hi, Poozlet!”
     Yeah, don’t ask.
     On my wedding day, we were alone in the bride’s room waiting to walk down the aisle. I was nervous, and he was making jokes trying to calm my nerves. But then he got serious for a moment. He said, “I’m assuming your mother had the talk with you.”
     Oh dear God. Did he really just say that? I’m going to die now. Of embarrassment or something. I laughed. Mom and I had the talk when I was ten years old.
      “Yeah, Dad. We had the talk.”
      “Okay. Good.”
     I wonder what he would have done if I had said, “No.” I can only imagine!
     Mom and Dad came to stay with me when I had cancer. I remember waking up from surgery. Mom wore her usual cheerful caregiver smile. But Dad had what we now jokingly refer to as “Dad Face.”
     “Dad Face” is the look he gets when he wants to fix whatever is wrong, but is helpless to do so. Because ultimately, it is out of his control. It’s a very concerned, worried, loving look.
     Mom and I learned quickly that we had to assign him some tasks. That way he felt useful and accomplished something.
     When I was going through my divorce, “Dad Face” returned. Heck, for a while, Mom even had “Dad Face.” Actually, almost everyone I knew had “Dad Face.” Hard not to since I was sobbing at the drop of a hat.
     Anyway, now that Dad’s retired, he’s busier than ever. When he’s not out washing his cars or doing yardwork, he’s fishing. He frequently says, “A bad day of fishing is still better than the best day at work.”
     Mr. Catch and Release has said it enough times, we believe him. Plus, he does come back with some really interesting fish stories. However, it still boggles the mind. This is a man who is always in a rush and hates waiting in lines. Yet, he will spend hours, days and sometimes weeks fishing. Sometimes on the shore or in a boat. Most of the time in waders standing chest deep in a stream.
     Fly fishing is his favorite type of fishing. Although he sometimes uses corn. Niblets to be precise. From a can. Apparently, it works. He’s catching a lot of fish with niblets. Who knew? Niblets!
     And when he’s not fishing, he’s planning meals. Breakfast with his brothers, Old Farts luncheons (his words, not mine), and dinners with everyone else my parents know. Their social calendar is booked out for weeks. They are popular people. Well, I guess with him you do get a meal and a comedy act.
     Most of all, my Dad wants me to be happy and feel loved. I consider myself very lucky, blessed, happy and loved because I have him for a Dad. And no matter how old I get, I will always be his little girl.

Copyright © 2014 by Suzanne Purewal

Featuring Singer/Songwriter – Lisa Dotolo

lisa dotolo3     Today’s Pursuing My Passion spotlight shines brightly on singer/songwriter, Lisa Dotolo. She has two CDs on the market already, and there is much more to come! Her music and lyrics are guaranteed to move you. Of course, I might be slightly biased because Lisa and I performed together in high school. And I am so proud of what she has accomplished!

What is the first childhood performance you remember?
     The first childhood performance was Loretta Lynn on her Coal Miner’s Daughter Tour. My mom took me, and I remember standing in front of her tour bus and having my picture taken. I still have the photo, and that was the first concert I went to that inspired me to pursue my performance career and go after singing as my career!

Where do you find your inspiration to write songs?
     All of my songs are inspired from my actual experiences in life. I write from my heart always and feel very connected to everything I write. I write only when I feel that the emotion from the experience needs to be expressed, then it turns into a song or poem. Some poems require further exploration and become songs.

How would you describe your style?
     I have so many musical influences, and they all kind of blend together when the song is produced in the studio. I describe my style as Emmy Lou meets Jewel + Natalie Merchant + Charlotte Church, with a WHOLE lot of love and inspiration. My foundation is Catholic liturgical music that I learned to sing and play when I was in a folk group at my church. It expanded to encompass gospel, traditional Catholic hymns and ultimately, Christian folk songs.

lisa dotolo2Do you have one guitar or a collection?
     I have a lot of guitars all over my house and in storage!!! I have collected them along the way and some have been given to me. All of them hold memories for me about the performances I played them in and the people who were so generous to give them to me!

What performing venue is your favorite?
     My favorite venue is ANYTIME I play in Gulf Shores, Alabama for festivals. They are so receptive to music, they have amazing musicians, and they are such nice people! Another favorite venue is the church; the acoustics are awesome!!

What is your dream venue?
     Wembley Stadium, London, England – sold out 5 nights… 😉 Of course, there’s Madison Square Garden for my friends state-side!!!

Which song is most meaningful to you?
     Angels on the Corner – It’s a lullaby I wrote about my brother a few days before he died. We knew he was going to pass, but we weren’t sure when. The day I wrote it, he was sleeping on the couch after a long surgery. I began to strum the chords and the words just flowed out. He rested quite peacefully throughout the entire creation of the song. He eventually passed, and I proceeded to record the song. I have three versions of the song; one is fully produced, and another is the acoustic version that I am playing with my mom on harmony.

When did you realize that singing and songwriting was your true calling?
     I believe when we find our calling we have a lot of peace in our choice. Whenever I write and sing, I feel happy and peaceful. People get inspired from my music, they are moved to feel happy, sad, joyful or just simply content. My calling in life is to create music and if I can bring some harmony to someone’s soul, then I have done my job, and I have used my talents that God has given me.

Your first album, Someday Soon, was released in 2004. You followed up with Doing It All My Way, in 2010. What can we expect from you next?
     Since I finance all my music, it does take some time to produce each song. I have many, many, many songs, ideas, titles and concepts for songs. The goal is to be signed by a major label so that side of the business is handled by them, and I am free to write and record all the time – those records will spin out A LOT faster with label support or financial backing!! However, right now, I have a third record in the works, hopefully to be released in 2013. All of my music is currently launched under my own indie label, Bella Mere Records. Would love to expand the label to continue to launch my music and other artists.

Lisa DotoloWhere can people buy your music?
     The internet or directly through me at Facebook. I am very, very accessible. I want to hear from people and know they like my songs. And I want them to email me directly and buy from me. CD Baby too, iTunes and more!

Where can people go to find where you will be performing?
     Facebook has a lot of my dates as soon as I get them. Right now though, I am wrapping up a record and looking to pick up gigs this summer and fall 2013.

To experience Lisa’s talent, check out her YouTube video of Lorelei. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aacxMIIYlzs

Follow Lisa on Facebook http://facebook.com/ldotolo

Copyright © 2013 by Suzanne Purewal