Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Friday, July 31, 2015

Hey Jealousy

I'm not sure what brought this on (but I'm sure my subconscious does!) -- but a few days ago I've been thinking about the song "Hey Jealousy", by the Gin Blossoms.  Been singing it to myself, at home, in the car, at work.

It's a sad song, if you listen to the lyrics -- and the context is sad as well:  according to Wikipedia, the band member who wrote the song got kicked out of the band for substance abuse problems -- and then sat on the sidelines while the band (without him!) hit the big time on the strength of that song.  Shortly after, he killed himself.

Anyhow, a few days ago I did a web search for the lyrics, and last night I did a search for the chords -- and then stayed up late playing the song.

In the original version of the song, the third verse just repeats the first verse.  But today, on the train ride to work I had the audacity to write my own third verse, which hints at a future together.  And I'm also changing the phrase "Hey Jealousy" to "Hey Melody".

I also did a YouTube search for cover versions -- all of which are either pretty faithful "distorted guitar" renditions or else "acoustic guitar" versions in the same tempo.  Mine will be more synth-driven -- I think.

When I get around to it.  :)



Monday, July 27, 2015

A nice person

I liked this.

The fact that the guy on the bench asked "Everything OK?" speaks positively to his character.
I sometimes give away money.  But not this amount, or in that situation:  although the actor's demeanor seemed gentle, I'd be concerned about being set up for a robbery.

I think I'd be a little annoyed if I gave someone money, and he just "wanted to buy some new clothes".  Unless it was for a job interview.

Regardless:  I liked the ending.


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Review of The King's Speech

Rented and watched The King's Speech tonight.

Yep, good. Well-acted, well-written, engaging, witty.

See it.



Saturday, July 25, 2015



“We are all a little bit broken.”

--Gye Greene, July 25, 2015


Labels: , ,

Friday, July 24, 2015

Solitary hobbies

I think that hobbies can classified into three broad categories: solitary hobbies; group hobbies; and hobbies that can be either.

For example, solitary hobbies are:

-model boat building
-collecting quotes

Group hobbies are:


And, hobbies that can be either solo or group are:

-visiting the opera, seeing concerts and plays, going to movies
-weightlifting (i.e. you could go with a friend, or by yourself)
-going to sporting events
-recording songs
-playing musical instruments

These aren't exhaustive lists, of course.  But the ones that came to me were either solitary, or "flexible":  not too many were inherently "group".

I found it interesting that all of my major and minor interests were either "solo" or "solo/group" -- which I practice solo.

Specifically woodworking, songwriting, recording, playing music, gardening -- I do 'em by myself.



Labels: , , ,

Monday, July 20, 2015

I write songs


“I am a machine that turns experiences into songs.”

--Gye Greene, July 2015


It's fairly typical -- although episodic -- to be struck by an experience, situation, or turn of phrase -- and a song spontaneously develops inside my head.  Sometimes I have to squeeze it a bit; other times it just comes pouring out -- and I have to write it down quickly, or else it evaporates and I lose it forever:  I've lost some choice phrasing because I didn't write it down.

Once I've written down the words, however, they sometimes continue to evolve.  I find that when I'm singing them to myself -- especially if I'm doing it from memory -- I'll sing the words "wrong".  And usually the "wrong" way is better:  either the flow is smoother, or I get an unexpected twist.

Here are two examples.

One is an old one -- circa 1989(!!!) -- called "Casablanca Nights".  The original line was "If you were a flag I'd put my hand on my heart, and tell you that it's for thee I sing" -- a reference to "The Star Spangled Banner".

However, I always sing it -- accidentally -- as "I'd put my hand on my head".  This revision no longer makes direct sense -- but it's more cryptic, and possibly more interesting.

Another is a song from the last year, about an older woman and her carer.  The original line was:

Susan – will you cut some cake for me?

Then, just to improve clarity, I changed it to:

“Susan", she said, "Will you cut some cake for me?”

But, as I was walking from the train station to my car, and singing it to myself (from memory), I was mis-singing it as:

“Susan", she said, "Could you cut a slice of cake for me?”

 This version had a better flow, and also much stronger alliteration:  lots of C's and S's.

So apparently my brain -- and my mouth -- naturally smooth over the rough spots and produce better lyrics and phrasing.

Speaking of songwriting:  two of my three children (The Girl, and Mechanical Boy [B2]) occasionally write songs -- which (of course) pleases me.  The girl has probably written five, and Mechanical Boy has written three, I think.  Even though they both take piano lessons, they haven't actually set them to music -- but they do have the words and the main melody line.

Their writing songs is probably a combination of natural inclination, plus modelling:  I've placed copies of recordings of a few of my old songs on their mp3 players -- and they already knew that "Daddy writes songs".  So writing songs is something "normal", rather than exotic or "regular people don't do that".

No songs yet from B2 (Blondie Boy).  Maybe later; maybe not at all.


Labels: , ,

Sunday, July 19, 2015

I like this guy's stories

Cynical Co-Worker sent me a link to this guy's YouTube channel.  I like his stories.  Here are two of them.

Difference between a $100 and a $1,000 guitar

Always tell the truth


Labels: , ,

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Inside grownups


“I only recently discovered that grownups still have their 10 year old, 14 year old, and 19 year old selves inside –- and sometimes they come out.  Even the grownups that are actually in their 40s and 50s.

I thought it was just me.”

--Gye Greene, July 18, 2015


Labels: , ,

Friday, July 17, 2015

Save that lantana

In England, lantana is a lovely hedging plant with pretty flowers.  But in Australia, lantana is a weed -- a noxious pest that spreads everywhere (and when you throw fresh branches on the ground, the buds take root and grow new bushes!).

A few weeks ago I had cut down a few lantanas and piled them up (suspended above the ground, so that they wouldn't take root) to deal with later.  But recently I cleaned up my mess a little, and cut the main trunk into lengths that I could eventually burn.

The main trunk is about as big around as my wrist.  As I was cutting it into lengths, I realized that it actually has a pretty nice color!  So, I saved the two larger-diameter pieces.

Here's the first photo, which is kind of an optical illusion:  to me, it looks firewood-sized.  (Note that I oiled the wood, to make the color and the grain look more like what a finished project would look like.)

But, here's the same pieces with my thumb as a size reference.  Pretty small.  Barely usable.

But, "barely usable" is usable nonetheless.  I'll make a very small box out of this -- one of these days.


Labels: ,

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Book review of As You Wish -- a Princess Bride book

As You Wish, by Cary Elwes.

As the book's subtitle explains, it is Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride. A lot of interesting behind-the-scenes information on the casting and making of the movie, as well as the aftermath.

Engagingly written: if the book had been informative but a trudge, then I wouldn't have devoured it the way that I did. I don't know the last time I'd cranked through a book at this rate, forgoing my “productive” evening and weekend tasks for this book. Started reading it Friday night, and stayed up late Friday (and Saturday!) to finish it.

Unfortunately, it just came out last year, so it's still only available in hardback – so, not as economical as if it was in paperback. You can be supportive and give Cary Elwes (who played The Man in Black) some royalties anyhow – or you can try to borrow it from your library.

Or, if you live nearby, you can borrow it from me.

If you enjoy The Princess Bride, I think you'll enjoy this.

Oh: and safe for the kids, I believe.



Sunday, July 05, 2015

Your job


“It is everyone's job to make sure that everyone around them is OK.”
--Gye Greene (July 5, 2015)


Labels: , ,

Movie reivew of The Game Plan

Saw The Game Plan on DVD, for our family movie night.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson plays an egocentric football quarterback, who is a bachelor -- but then a young daughter (who he did not know existed) turns up on his doorstep for a month.

As with all movies of this type, he is slowly reformed and becomes a better person (and a pretty decent dad).

From what I recall, no swearing, sexual things, or violence (except for some slapstick-ish falls, and some football “crunches” on the field.

I liked it **way** better than I expected to.

Worth renting if you have young kids; possibly worth seeing even if you're a grown-up: it's kinda sweet.



Friday, July 03, 2015

I would never do this

I am soooo risk-adverse -- I would never do this:


(Kjeragbolten:  It's a wedged boulder, in Norway -- 3,228 feet above the ground.)


Labels: ,

Thursday, July 02, 2015

The universal scale

Guitar Cousin showed me this video a few years ago.

Bobby McFerrin demonstrates how we are conditioned to the pentatonic scale.