the city chicken

Virgin births, Jazzy Christmas music, and …. other stuff
12 21 2006, 1:53 am
Filed under: animals, music

Have you ever counted sheep? (this will be semi-meaningful later on). The night before my contracts final I was, for the first time, forced to count sheep. I was overwhelmed by exhaustion but I could not “turn off” my brain.
In between counts, I would find myself reciting… “1 sheep, 2 sheep, 3… consideration, Kirksey v. Kirksey, gratuitous promises vs. consideration, no no no, shhh shhh“…. “3 sheep, 4 sheep, master of the offer . . . no . . .”.
I finally realized that simply counting sheep was not enough. I needed more to keep my brain occupied… hmm, dyed sheep? Colors + numbers? No, not quite right… hmmm… what does a sheep feel like? Sound like? Smell like? I literally was thinking these things. Finally I settled on white sheep, not sheared, with black faces and numbers dyed into their wool, random numbers with no meaning. I had to imagine them doing acrobatic tricks in the air and I simply had to force myself to hear them. The sounds of “baaaas” was the only thing that could keep my head from intervening, almost. Admittedly, it was entertaining to “listen” to the occasional mental interjections; “sheep # 42, baaaa, baaaa, acceptance, baaaaa, sheep #2, baaaaa, offer, baaaa….”

Perhaps the words of Diana Krall’s song would have helped… then again, I am pretty sure I would have had trouble counting any blessings that night. (The song I am referring to is listed below).

Anyhow, for a beginner story that is … different… Flora, a komodo dragon who lives in a British Zoo, will be a mom likely on Christmas day. The most interesting part is that Flora is a “virgin”… well, Komodo dragons lay eggs which are later fertilized but, she fertilized her own so it’s still a pretty big deal. The story reminded me of Jurassic Park when it was said that “life will find a way”… anyhow, it was a cute Christmas story and I think Flora is rather … “cute”, in a “dragon-y” kind of way…
In other news, I decided to download a bunch of Christmas tunes from iTunes yesterday and I ended up picking out songs that really surprised me. I fell for jazzy renditions of classic favorites and some of the more unfamiliar but wonderful songs.
I thought I would share some of my favs that you should check out if you are looking for something different to listen to over the next week or so! 🙂
B.B. King’s A Christmas Celebration of Hope – favorite song: Merry Christmas Baby – very traditional “B.B. King – blues-y, soulful, and will likely be one you have heard before.
Jewel, Jewel’s Christmas Album. After searching and searching for the perfect rendition of Ave Maria, this was the one I went with. I really like Barbara Streisand’s version, but I grew up with her Christmas album (which I, btw, LOVE), but I wanted something different. This is classic, not too folky (as Jewel does have a rather “folky” voice), and very touching.

Classic and super classy, Selah’s version of O’ Holy Night really worked for me. This song, like Ave Maria, is one that I want to hear in its’ classic tempo and key. This one adds some nice touches without taking away from such a stunning song. The album is titled Rose of Bethlehem.

I broke the rules with this one. The Blind Boys of Alabama, a Christian group with a great country/Motown feel, forced me to take more than just one song from their album Go Tell it on the Mountain. I downloaded In the Bleak Midwinter and The Christmas Song. Both have female artists singing along and both are really wonderful.

For something with a more upbeat tune, Ella Fitzgerald’s A Swinging Christmas is fun, funky, and everything you’d expect to hear from her. I chose her version of Sleigh Ride. It is fabulous.

I had never before heard of Diana Krall. This “album” was put together and promoted by iTunes (as far as I could tell based on the info at the iTunes store) and I am so glad I found it. Although the song isn’t really “Christmassy“, I really like it. It is called Count Your Blessings Instead of Counting Sheep. … I think…. lol. Anyhow, I really like her voice, it is one to check out! (And something to think about if you ever find yourself reciting “baaaa” in a desperate attempt to doze off!)

Another unknown to me… then again, I don’t know jazz well, but I do like it. This is Chris Botti. He is a trumpeter (so maybe i am a lil‘ biased). Most of his music has a “sad” tone to it (then again, most of the music I downloaded was blues-y and not very up-beat, but his Winter Wonderland is very playful and fun. You’ll like it!

So what else did I download? Aimee Mann’s new Christmas album. Aimee Mann is one of my favorite singers but I couldn’t believe that she would put out a Christmas album… her songs are typically very “deep” and kind of intellectually heavy. She has a lot of classics, including a GREAT version of Grinch! My favorite Christmas tune of hers was a song she wrote herself called Calling on Mary. It’s deep, not upbeat… and maybe something for those having either a “rough Christmas” or are just deep in thought this Christmas like myself.
Hmm.. there are others… Christmas Eve – Sarajevo 12/24 (if you’ve never heard it… well, you have, you just don’t know it) and some others which are not for Christmas.
I downloaded Frank Sinatra’s Fly Me to the Moon (which I was unaware of (I know…forgive me) but was introduced to by a really touching Myspace page for a cat who passed away a few months ago – go figure), Fergie’s newest hit, “Fergalicious” (in honor of my own Fergie), Bubba Sparx Miss New Booty, I’ll Stand by You, by The Pretenders, Don’t Know Much – Aaron Neville and Linda Rondstadt.
(What a wild combo huh???!!! haha)
And if you haven’t noticed, I clearly just wanna b.s. today. However, I think it is time to hit the sack… I went from not getting enough sleep for a couple weeks to getting waaaay too much now. Tomorrow I will hopefully be able to pull myself together. Night ya’ll!!

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