TUESDAY TUNES: “Helplessness Blues,” Fleet Foxes

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It’s been nearly six years since the Fleet Foxes album Hopelessness Blues was released, and yet their sound and lyrics don’t seem any less poignant. I had the opportunity to see them on tour, and I’m glad to say they’re a great band to see live.

Perhaps my favorite song is the title track, which seems to address the realization that while we may not be as significant as we think, that shouldn’t diminish the passion with which we live. In fact, one website even said it may be the anthem for an entire generation.

If you haven’t taken a listen already, here are the lyrics:

Helplessness Blues

I was raised up believing I was somehow unique
Like a snowflake distinct among snowflakes, unique in each way you can see
And now after some thinking, I’d say I’d rather be
A functioning cog in some great machinery serving something beyond me
But I don’t, I don’t know what that will be
I’ll get back to you someday soon you will see
What’s my name, what’s my station, oh, just tell me what I should do
I don’t need to be kind to the armies of night that would do such injustice to you
Or bow down and be grateful and say “Sure, take all that you see, “
To the men who move only in dimly-lit halls and determine my future for me
And I don’t, I don’t know who to believe
I’ll get back to you someday soon you will see
If I know only one thing, it’s that everything that I see
Of the world outside is so inconceivable often I barely can speak
Yeah I’m tongue-tied and dizzy and I can’t keep it to myself
What good is it to sing helplessness blues, why should I wait for anyone else?
And I know, I know you will keep me on the shelf
I’ll come back to you someday soon myself
If I had an orchard, I’d work ’til I’m raw
If I had an orchard, I’d work ’til I’m sore
And you would wait tables and soon run the store
Gold hair in the sunlight, my light in the dawn
If I had an orchard, I’d work ’til I’m sore
If I had an orchard, I’d work ’til I’m sore
Someday I’ll be like the man on the screen
Songwriters: Christian Wargo / Nicholas Peterson / Robin Pecknold / Skye Skjelset / Wesley Wescott
Helplessness Blues lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

MONDAY MOVIES: “The Paper”

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CREDIT: wikipedia.org

I’m not sure how I’ve worked in journalism for as long as I have without seeing “The Paper,” but I’m glad that I recently did! The film provides a fictional day in the life of a newspaper editor, played by Michael Keaton. You immediately get a glimpse at the pressures of the job, the difficulty of the work/life balance, his passion for his industry — and how he copes with it all.

Of course, the movie wouldn’t be complete without the performances of other veteran actors like Glenn Close, Robert Duvall, and Marissa Tomei. Together, they help highlight some of the challenges that historically have (and will continue to) face journalists: Deadlines, corporate budgets, and finding the most relevant stories and delivering them to their audience.

The movie isn’t new; it was released in 1994. Despite its age and a media landscape that looks radically different now, “The Paper” still seems topical: Journalists will always have the enormous responsibility of finding and relaying information that impacts the communities where we live. And this film shows, over the course of one day, some of the people and processes that help make that possible.

Election Night 2016

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I wanted to share just how proud I was of the 23ABC/KERO-TV team this past Tuesday, November 8, 2016. This slideshow represents moments throughout the evening in order: Crew members posing for a picture just before a special 3 p.m. newscast (NOTE: these were just the folks there at the time; we had about twice that many people working that day); one of our reporters practicing on our touchscreen monitor; the anchors during a special webcast; and members of the team watching Donald Trump’s victory speech (as you can see on the clock, just before midnight on the West Coast).

I’m so grateful to be part of this team. I’m proud of how we delivered critical information to our viewers in innovative ways before, during, and after the election. And by all accounts, it was a success on many levels.

America will no doubt continue to experience growing pains as we make the transition from one president to another. I’m honored to be a journalist, and I look forward to the continued challenge and responsibility of keeping the public informed and engaged. And I’m happy to be doing that with this talented group.

 

MONDAY MOVIES: “Double Indemnity”

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CREDIT: FilmForum.org

Some films get better with age — or at the very least, with life experience. I just watched “Double Indemnity” for the first time in nearly 20 years. What struck me is just how seeped in Los Angeles is it… References to the Hollywood Bowl, Glendale, Los Feliz, etc. — areas I now know better than when I watched it the first time. Not only do I have a geographically sentimental attachment to it at this point in my life, but I also have a richer appreciation for the actors and what brought them to this movie. And the director. And the characters. And the film style.

Here’s hoping I appreciate it even more in another 20 years.

Vin Scully: A Voice Like No Other

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CREDIT: LA Times

As a lifelong Kansas City Royals fan, I never really knew who Vin Scully was until I moved to Southern California. I can’t recall the moment when I realized just how special he is — but I’m sure it was when it finally dawned on me that he isn’t just a golden voice… he’s a golden spirit. Anyone can call a baseball game, but few can make it truly enjoyable beyond the game itself. Vin talked about history, he shared funny anecdotes, he talked about the heart of the players. He made me smile when I watched games, not because he was trying, but because he felt like a friend talking to me about baseball. About life.

I was fortunate to be at one of his final Dodgers games (see below). You could see how much Dodgers fans love him, how much Los Angeles loves him — and how much he loved in return.

Here’s wishing Vin a happy retirement and a happy life!

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Putting the man in mani pedi

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I decided to get a manicure and pedicure today, something I hadn’t expected to do when I woke up this morning. It was an impulse decision — due in part to the fact that I actually have fingernails for the first time in a long time!

I torture my nails… I chew, pick, bite. It’s a bad habit, and it’s something I’ve done my whole life. So many people have tried to get me to stop for so many reasons; all have failed.

I don’t know why I have decent fingernails now. It may have started with a recent relaxing three day weekend. Or maybe because a vacation is on the horizon. Whatever the case, I left my nails alone for a few days and now they’re healthy and growing back!

And so today, I walked into an LA salon and asked for a manicure. It wasn’t planned. Just seemed like something to do to reward myself for not indulging in an unhealthy habit. And once I sat down, they were able to convince me to upgrade to have a pedicure as well; while I don’t bite my toenails (fortunately my habit hasn’t gotten than bad), I figured it couldn’t hurt to have good-looking toes during flip flop season.

So here I am, a man and by myself, taking an impulse move to get a man pedi. Probably not the manliest thing to do, let alone blog about, but I got out of my comfort zone and it was good for me. Plus, I enjoyed being pampered and rewarding myself for doing something good (or at the very least, not doing something bad like perpetuating a gross habit). 

We’ll see how long the nice nails last — hopefully my bad habit won’t rear its ugly head and undo today’s progress. In the meantime, I’m just happy I did something unexpected and had the nerve to give it a try. And I’ve got 10 well-groomed fingernails and 10 well-groomed toenails as proof of my adventure!