Category Archives: Too Much Fun

Concert Review- Stewart Copeland: Police Deranged for Orchestra – in Seattle

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Let me preface the following by saying this was a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable concert experience which I’m glad I got the privilege to be a part of. That’s why I feel compelled to write a concert review, which I rarely do. Also, the audience response and overall appreciation of this great artist who’s contributed so much to the world of music was heartwarming and wonderful to share in.

That being said, my parents trained my ear and musical understanding from an early age to be astute and necessarily in tune both literally and metaphorically – which is a good thing and a bad thing. It brings me great enjoyment in life, but there are times I’d rather be oblivious. Some cringe-worthy moments last night were impossible to ignore, and I’ll review the bad with the good.

The concept of an original band member – especially the drummer – reimagining and arranging popular songs by The Police into rock/orchestra pieces intrigued me, and it was definitely an experiment of epic proportions – with mixed results.

I think his arrangements were OK, sometimes ingenious, and often interesting ‘takes’ on the songs. ‘Roxanne’ was a high moment, for sure.

As a commenter on You Tube pointed out, use of more harmonics rather than so many notes in unison would have been a plus. Or as I expressed to my concert companion, it was missing the power of using the full orchestra as one instrument instead of a bunch of separate instruments and sounds. Several points became a cacophony rather than a blend which the listener could follow either rhythmically or melodically, let alone both together.

I wished several times that I could listen to a studio recording of the arrangements mixed to balance the snippets of genius I could almost hear, with the parts I could hear, instead of struggling to make it out ‘live.’

It takes immense skill and experience to wield orchestrated harmonics, dynamics and balance, which is why there are relatively few well-known symphonic composers throughout time. So no shade on Stewart Copeland for missing the highest mark.

His version of ‘Message in a Bottle’ brought back that visceral feeling of music with an entirely new sound and direction that the original gave me the first time I heard the song in the early ’80’s. I heard it on the radio while swimming in my roommate’s parent’s pool at night in North Vancouver B.C., looking out off the hillside at the city lights over the water. The difference in sound was so remarkable to me that I got out of the pool and hurried into the kitchen to find out what the song was before it was over. Copeland’s version reimagined and reminded me of that moment – so big success there. Well done!

My only true disappointment was ‘Walking in Their Footsteps.’ The original is so unusual, and it’s very ethereal for me. Sadly, I didn’t get that feeling at all from his redo, though – to be fair – I think I couldn’t hear what he intended. It was muddy, and perhaps if the arrangement had been pared down to less instrumentation at once, or controlled by mixing at various volumes, it may have been successful. But for me that arrangement was an epic fail, live in Seattle.

Without a doubt, I admire Stewart Copeland for taking the chance, fulfilling his dream, and continuing on as the experimental musician that The Police always were as a group. It’s difficult to continue to innovate in life. Very admirable, and I absolutely loved his spirit and spending time with him and his creative work.

The Tale of Be-toed Monitors

This nonsense is in response to the silly word-image found on Widdershins Worlds of two monitors turning up their toes, which in not so funny terms was one more thing Going Sideways on their adventures. At the end of the post, the well-wish: “May your hailstones be tiny, and your monitors never discover they have toes to turn up,” sparked me to write this…

Monitor on Monitor, 2022 by Sheri J. Kennedy

The Tale of Be-toed Monitors, a tale of woe to be told in monotone (monotonous, it’s known)

For when monitors are bestowed with toes everyone knows, like kissing toads, (not monitor lizards, quite different gizzards) that they turn up missing, causing monetary hissing, and rows to hoe.

“Turn up or turnip? Are we turning up turnips with a hoe?”

“No, you know… ‘Turn up, Ho!’ Like a party.”

Oh no! It goes…

When a monitor knows it’s bestowed with toes it momentarily glows and, monstrously gauche, behold it goes and turns up its toes.

“So not a turnip. A tune up?”

“Some party. Somebody turned up dead? Who was hoeing?”

Wait and see where it’s going…

Owners groan in monotone the great unknown of digital theft, monetarily bereft. Not a moment’s rest, they do their best to toe the line, undefined, totally unmonitored.

by Sheri J. Kennedy, June 2022 All Rights Reserved

Wonderfully Random Deconstruction

I had fun cutting apart and deconstructing the packaging the sketchbook came in to design the cover for my contribution to the project. I also added some other elements including postage stamps from the sets used throughout the book’s images, the retro fan, a little cardinal decal sticker, and a print of my hand-carved rubber stamp that I designed and created for our small band of artists that did this project together in my town.

And I’m not sure quite what I was thinking on this one beyond that The Sketchbook Project was headquartered in Brooklyn, NY, and the Lego Beatles and Batman were too fun to pass up? I kind of think of New York as parallel to Gotham City (or visa-versa, I suppose.) And the train seemed like the Beatles were going on tour and stopping at New York Fest, perhaps? It’s fun to let imagination guide freely and not force artworks to make logical sense. That’s what words are for. Images are wonderfully random.

Spring it!

A little more whimsy than yesterday’s post… Continuing with pages from my sketchbook. This one totally fits (in a sideways twisted way) the VERY delayed warming for Spring season this year in the Pacific NW (near Seattle.) I think the little clock has stopped. It feels like there’s a big iron gate locking all the sunshine away. I wish someone would spring it!

Specially for You, My Dear by Sheri J. Kennedy 2015 All Rights Reserved

And of course the milkman is just taunting me. Bringing a gift all tied up with a bow that we can’t open! (There’s an inside secret about this milkman you can see at the bottom of the post if you’re curious.)

I guess I won’t taunt you by not letting you see the rest of what’s peeking through the cuts in the sketchbook page, even though it’s visually my least favorite page of the book. It’s the inside cover and title page for this collection of collages. The Sketchbook Project mailed me the blank 5X7 book and assigned me the theme, “Parts of the Whole” which I subtly subtitled, “Arts of the Whole.” (I kind of have a thing for wordplay.) I sent it back filled with artwork to add to their Sketchbook Library collection.

Parts of the Arts of the Whole by Sheri J. Kennedy 2015 All Rights Reserved

And now the inside secret milkman story:

Along with multiple Sketchbook Project participations, I’m also an avid participant in NaNoWriMo since 2009. I have a friend I made through writing who does both alongside me. One year for NaNo she decided to write a fantasy with a sexy milkman. This was not an Adult fantasy. It was a fantasy story – you know with faeries and… a sexy milkman? Guess what showed up in the magazines when we got together to create our sketchbooks the next season? What are the chances?… I couldn’t resist.

Reflections #AtoZChallenge

I had a great time this year doing the AtoZ April Blogging Challenge! It was fun to see new faces visiting and also to connect with new people and reconnect with longtime blog friends. I felt enriched by how many of the new visitors came back again and again, and I got to know a few more bloggers that I’ll follow avidly and will undoubtedly have great conversations with in the future.

I also had a blast fulfilling my self-imposed theme’s Alliterative Story Challenge and running a contest for others to submit to the Alliterative Literature Plotted Prose & Poetry Challenge as well. I made badges for the contest winners, and realized I was so proud of creating and posting an Alliterative story for every letter AtoZ in April, that I made a badge for my own accomplishment too. What fun!!

Annie’s Accidental Arrogance, Beastly Beatrice, Cantankerous Cacophony, Daunting Donut Dilemma, Eddie’s Exploits, Franny’s Fuming Flambé, Gas-tly Gourmet, Harvey’s Hullabaloo, Ibis’ Impish Ignorance,
Jacquie’s Janky Jest, Karen’s Kitschy Kitchen, Lazy Larry’s Lament, Marilyn’s Musical Mitigation, Nancy the Naïve Noob, Ornery Ollie, Persnickety Pursuit, Quincy’s Quivering, Richard the Rascal and the Roving Ranger, Seedy Swaps at Sonny’s Seaside Speakeasy, Tubby’s Turbulent Talent Trek, Uppity Ursula, Valentine’s Villainy, Wally the Witless Wanderer, Excelsior! ‘X’, Yammering Yankee York, Zelda’s Zany Zither. WHICH ONE IS YOUR FAVORITE???

Creating and Sharing are a couple of the best things in life. So I’m sharing links to other bloggers too… A few new favorites I discovered, and blogs I love:

Enjoy exploring, and let me know what you think about my stories or theirs!

Zelda’s Zany Zither #AtoZChallenge

I’m posting an Alliterative Story with the A to Z Challenge letter of the day. And today’s the day I’m announcing the winners of the Alliterative Plotted Prose and Poetry Challenge, a separate free challenge I hosted. You can join in the fun by going to THIS POST  to read the challenge authors’ winning pieces and see the awards!

With some sadness, and great relief to my writing schedule, I give you my final AtoZ Challenge Alliterative Story…Which one was your favorite??? … Adieu!

Zander zipped across the zoo to Zelda the Zebra’s zone with zooty zeal. He’d Zoomed Zelda’s zither zeniths to zillions with zilch-zero-zippo zonks to his zine.

“Zowee!” he zinged at Zelda’s zithering of “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah”.

His Ziploc of ziti and zucchini with zinfandel was zesty in the zinnias while her “Ziggy Stardust”, on a zephyr, zapped zitty zombies all over the zodiac.

Zander zigzagged to Zelda with a zany zircon.

by Sheri J. Kennedy, All Rights Reserved

And the Winner is… #AllitLitPloProPo Challenge Awards!!

At last, the day is here! It’s time to announce the Winner of The Alliterative Literature Plotted Prose & Poetry Challenge!! #AllitLitPlo ProPo You can see the rules of the challenge and the entries from the top three contenders for this year’s prize HERE.

In evaluating the top three, I realized the race was incredibly close or tied on crowd response, and each of the three fulfilled a different aspect of the challenge at a significantly higher level than the others. So I’ve decided to award those 3 aspects, as well as choose the overall Challenge Winner. An exclusive badge has been created for each and sent to each winner for their badge boasting bliss.

First is FAN FAVORITE! This author’s fantastically funny use of (coincidentally) F words ferreted out the most fruitful fanfare. Congrats to Harvey Heilbrun for “Frank’s Fiasco”

Our Alliteration Aficionados were also challenged with using as many different alliterative words as possible in their pieces. Venerating the VOCAB VIRTUOSO! This author’s B words busted the bar with boo-coo brilliant babbling. Congrats to Bill Reynolds for “Benevolent Bedlam”

While the challenge openly encouraged Prose or Poetry, the feat of rendering solid alliteration in metered verse stood out as celebratory. Prizing the PRIMO POET! This author’s S words stunned with scintillating skill and silly symmetry. Congrats to Hobbo for “Susan’s Silly Story”

Without further ado, the 2022 WINNER on the multitudinous merits of flamboyant fandom, sensible silliness, wealth of words and quotient of Quinn*-quality quirk… Congrats to Harvey Heilbrun for “Frank’s Fiasco”! Harvey, you’ve won the 1st ever Alliterative Literature Plotted Prose & Poetry Challenge and all bragging rights thereby granted!! Go forth and Alliterate evermore (and ever more.)

It’s been my supreme pleasure to present the Allit Lit Plo Pro Po Challenge! Thanks to ALL who entered and who came by the blog to read, tangle their tongues, oo-and-ah, giggle and vote! Thanks also for continuing throughout the month to inspire my Alliterative AtoZ Challenge journey this April! I conquered the story-a-day A-Z, all in alliteration. Such fun… Perhaps again next year?

*Quinn, is challenge presenter, Sheri J. Kennedy’s nickname, and the surname of her pen-name for Steam Era Time Travel novels by Kennedy J. Quinn.

Yammering Yankee York #AtoZChallenge

I’m posting an Alliterative Story with the A to Z Challenge letter of the day. I’ve also posted a few Alliterative stories or sensible poems by other authors from a separate free challenge I hosted. You can join in the fun by going to THIS POST to read the challenge authors’ pieces and vote in comments for your favorites today! Winner announced on April 30th – that’s tomorrow – so hurry and vote NOW.

After yammering his Yearly Yule Yarn at Yale about a yoked yak, the Yankee, York, yacked-up yummy yolk-yellow yucca yogurt yielding a yeasty yin-yang on a yoga mat. Yikes!

“Yuck!” a youthful yutz yelled over “Yesterday” yowling from a yurt in the yard.

“Yeah, yipes!” a yachter yapped, yanking a yo-yo and yearning for yellowfin.

“YOLO.” York yaffed.

“Yar! Ya yampy yuppie,” yelped the youth.

“Y’all… your yen.” York yawned. “Yeehaw!” he yodeled from his Yamaha yonder.

“Yahoo!” the yachter yipped. “Yippee!”

by Sheri J. Kennedy, All Rights Reserved

Excelsior! ‘X’ #AtoZChallenge

I’m posting an Alliterative Story with the A to Z Challenge letter of the day. I’ve also posted a few Alliterative stories or sensible poems by other authors from a separate free challenge I hosted. You can join in the fun by going to THIS POST to read the challenge authors’ pieces and vote in comments for your favorites in by tomorrow! Winner announced on April 30th, so hurry and vote NOW.

Exili’s excellent and exceptionally exquisite examination of extractions of Exavier’s ex-wife exhumed from Exeter was extra exhilarating when Exili’s exposure of an exotic exoskeleton exacted an extension for exploration to exhibit her exterior existence and exonerate Exavier, excluding him from execution.

The expedient executive who exerted expressions to extinguish Exavier by expounding on his extreme excuses as exhausting and exacerbating was expelled and excommunicated from the exercise for the extent of his explanations’ exorbitant extrapolations and exalted exaggerations.

“Excelsior!” Exili exuded.

Exavier exited the experience and exhaled.

by Sheri J. Kennedy, All Rights Reserved