~ Like the ripples in a pond, the work of one man spreads out and touches the lives of others ~

From The Soul of One ~ To The Hearts Of Many
Taylor Hicks "The Distance"

Friday, October 31, 2008

Cute As A Bug


Miss Olive, otherwise known as Princess Olive Cupcake, all decked out and ready to wish you a Boo-tiful Halloween!

You've heard the expresssion, cute as a bug in a rug?
How about cute as a bug on a rug?

LOL, just couldn't resist sharing this adorable pic!

Since Taylor Hicks is currently in France for preproduction of his upcoming CD, I thought we could take a look at how Halloween is celebrated in France.
Bonnes vacances Taylor!!

But first, in case you missed it, here is Taylor's audio blog from France!

Friday, October 31, 2008
New Taylor Blog!
Hello Soul Patrol,

I just returned from France having complete pre production on the new record. I cannot wait for y'all to hear it...it is truly my best work.
Have a great Halloween and be on the lookout for some more studio updates.

Halloween in France is usually celebrated by costumed people of all ages going to parties at friends' homes, restaurants, bars, or clubs. The costumes themselves tend to be traditionally "scary" - mummies, ghosts, goblins, witches, and vampires - rather than the cute costumes like princesses, superheroes, and the cartoon character of the day which are popular in the US. Some recreation centers encourage kids to make their own costumes.

Trick-or-treating is getting to be more common. It started out store-to-store, rather than house-to-house, but the latter is picking up. However, Halloween occurs during the mid-season school break, which slows it down a bit.

Stores, malls, restaurants, offices, and homes decorate their windows; pastry and candy shops make up special desserts and candies; and many different kinds of companies use Halloween in their ads. Supermarkets sell pumpkins for jack-o'-lanterns and candy companies are now marketing candy in the traditional Halloween format: one big bag filled with lots of little packages, which may encourage trick-or-treating.

The growing demand for jack-o'-lanterns during Halloween has been a boon for pumpkin growers. There is even a pumpkin patch at a farm outside of Paris where people can pick their own.

Halloween in France is rather controversial, due to the perception of corporate and cultural influence, as well as the fact that it is not a typical French holiday and some people still don't understand what is being celebrated. Because Halloween is seen as an American celebration, some French people refuse to enjoy it, having decided to include it in their anti-American boycott. It's too early to tell whether Halloween will develop into a long-term tradition; once the novelty wears off, it may turn out to be just a fad. And yet, interestingly, the French have been celebrating the ideas at the very heart of Halloween (respect for the dead) for centuries. 31 October to 2 November have traditionally been spent, especially by older generations, visiting cemeteries, honoring saints, and attending religious services.

Limoges — The city in France that has most embraced Halloween is Limoges, where every year since 1996, the town has put on a Halloween parade on October 31. About 30,000 people show up for a parade of ghosts, goblins and ghouls carrying candlelit pumpkins. There are also lots of people who dress up in costume and tour the local bars, cafes and restaurants, many of which hold special Halloween parties. If you are looking for a real Halloween celebration in France, heading to Limoges is definitely the way to go.

Today's cup:

The witches fly Across the sky,
The owls go, "Who? Who? Who?"
The black cats yowl
And green ghosts howl,
"Scary Halloween to you!"

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Frost Is On The Pumpkin

Well the frost was on the pumpkins this morning, burr!

The fall colors have been spectacular and the weather up to now has been simply beautiful. Autumn is my favorite time of year, even though it is the harbinger of Winter.

Thankfully the sun is now shining brightly, and the frost has disappeared, so to celebrate I have a few more sweet treats to fill your Halloween goodie bag!


Of course there is a special Taylor treat! A treat that Karin created for us back when we were all awaiting Taylor Hicks' 2006 self-titled CD to drop. (Coincidentally we are all now eagerly awaiting his new Cd that will be released in February of 2009!)

Karin's treat should have been shared in September, but Karin and I didn't get much blogging done that month, so I'm taking the opportunity to share it today, unbeknownst to Karin :-)

But first here is a little something for your goodie bag, a cute poem about Halloween trick or treaters for you to share:

Frost is on the pumpkin
Chill is in the air
Leaves are gently falling
Swirling here and there.

Many different faces
Costumes in the night
Gremlins, ghouls and goblins
Causing quite a fright.

Vampires in the darkness
Hobos in the street
Ghosts are ringing doorbells
Time for trick-or-treat.

Candles in the window
Faces all aglow
Painted little munchkins
Put on quite a show.

Full of tricks and sorcery
Warlocks in the night
Lamps are shining brightly
Makes for quite a site.

Lots of spells and magic
Witches do appear
Riding on their broomsticks
Halloween is here.

Now we'll go to the moon and back, back to September that is, for your Taylor Treat! Come a little bit closer now, you're in for a real treat!

video: "Harvest Moon" a Taylor Hicks Montage by KarinP

Taylor Hicks

A little Harvest Moon trivia:

"When the moon is full, mankind is one!"

In China and throughout many Asian countries people celebrate the Harvest Moon on the 15th day of the eighth month of their lunar calendar. The date in the Western calendar changes yearly. This year, it fell on September 14, 2008.

The Harvest Moon or Mid-Autumn Festival (Zhong Qiu Jie) is a day of family reunions much like a Western Thanksgiving. Chinese people believe that on that day, the moon is the roundest and brightest signaling a time of completeness and abundance. During the Mid-Autumn Festival, children are delighted to stay up past midnight, parading multi-colored lanterns into the wee hours as families take to the streets to moon-gaze.

It is also a romantic night for lovers, who sit holding hands on hilltops, riverbanks and park benches, captivated by the brightest moon of the year!

September's full moon, known in folklore as the Harvest Moon, rises over the DC skyline.
photo credit: philliefan99

Today's cup:

"Everyone is a moon and has a dark side, which he never shows to anybody."

~ Mark Twain ~

Sunday, October 19, 2008

This Candy IS Dandy!

Taylor Hicks Is The Candy Man!
Sweet Sugar

I thought I'd do a special blog for Halloween centered around my favorite part - treats!
I'm giving out virtual candy treats this year!

The first treat is the delicious canvas of Taylor Hicks, portrayed as the candy man, that I created for the beginning of the blog - click on it for the full effect!

The second treat is this fabulous video that was created almost a year ago and I just found the other day. Don't know how I missed it, but it is titled simply Taylor Hicks. I had no idea when I clicked on it what a wonderful treat I had in store.

video: by ELVISEXPERT2006
(Thank you Kaicee!)

I just simply sat at my computer with a big smile on my face, and I'd like to give a big thank you to the young lady who created this video, because she made my day!

Is there is a big smile on your face too, are you singing "I want candy"?

Now that we are all on a sugar high, we won't need any Karma coffee to get our motor's running, Taylor took care of that! So today I'll finish with a few fun-filled facts about some of the most popular Halloween goodies!

Yum, it's that great of time of year where bags, sacks, buckets and bowls of yummy candy are seemingly everywhere. I am a chocoholic and my favorite treat is M&M Peanuts. My statistics prove they are totally nutritious and there's no tell-tale messy evidence, well except for all of the empty bags :-)

Halloween Candy Fun Facts
By Jeanne Benedict

Are you a Snickers bar fan or do you crave M&M’s? One quarter of all the candy sold annually is for Halloween night. Here are some fun facts to make the holiday even sweeter!

Candy Corn
Candy corn was invented in the 1880s by George Renninger of the Wunderlee Candy and is produced today by the Jelly Belly Candy Company.
October 30th is National Candy Corn Day.
An estimated 35 million pounds of candy corn, that’s 9 billion pieces, will be produced this year.

M&M’s were introduced to American GIs during WWII in 1941.
M&M’s were originally sold in a tube and then packaged in their famed little brown bag in 1948.
In 1950, the first “M” was imprinted in black on the candy giving the morsels their signature style.

Snickers and Favorite Candy Bars
Snickers bars have topped the charts for years as the #1 Halloween candy bar.
Parents favorite treats to sneak from their kids’ trick-or-treat bags are snack-size chocolate bars (70% sneak these)!
Other favorite candy bars to look for in trick-or-treat bags are Nestlé Crunch, Milky Way, Three Musketeers, and Almond Joy.

HERSHEY'S KISSES hit the scene in 1907 and have been on candy shelves ever since with a brief interruption from 1942 to 1949 due to the rationing of silver foil during WWII.
A popular belief is that the “KISS” got its name from the sound or motion that the machine makes while producing them.
76% percent of households will include bite-size chocolate candies in their Halloween activities and 26% percent will go for full-size candy (chocolate and non-chocolate).

We have to give a shout out to Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Tootsie Rolls & Pops, Smarties, and Charms Blow Pops, which will also fill the bags of the 93% of children who will go trick-or-treating this year.

A special thanks to the National Confectioners Association for some of the facts in the article! Check them out at CandyUSA

Have a safe and fun-filled Halloween!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hooked on a Feeling

You know that 'feeling' I'm talking about!
The euphoria you experience when listening to Taylor Hicks' music.

Then there's the high intensity excitement that enfolds you when seeing Taylor Hicks in concert.
Anticipation, wonderment, tears and smiles.
You feel so good you are down right giddy.

video: Taylor Hicks @ Millersville University, Millersville, PA

Well I searched for most of this past summer for something to give me a taste of that special 'feeling'. I knew a trip to see Taylor in 'Grease' on Broadway wasn't in the cards, so I wasn't going to get a Taylor fix any time soon.

To the rescue came my friend Froggie with news that Ray LaMontagne and Marc Broussard were both performing concerts in our area. My soul was about to receive some much needed soothing and I eagerly agreed to her purchasing tickets for both performances.

It seems our souls were not the only ones in need of soothing. Both concerts were highly attended, in fact they were packed with varying ages, but the predominant age was college students. And believe me they were as into and appreciative of the music as we both were.

Can you imagine our excitement upon hearing Ray sing "Trouble" and Marc singing "You Send Me" and "Let's Get It On". It was as if the spirit of Taylor Hicks was right there with us!

Both Marc and Ray gave fabulous performances, but for me there is only one person whose performances fullfill that special 'feeling'. Taylor is the man ...
hook, line and sinker.

video: Taylor Hicks @ House of Blues, Cleveland

We caught Ray's concert at the Royal Oak Theater, but this video from his Chicago concert is a better capture of his new song.

video: "Winter Birds" by Ray LaMontagne @ The Chicago Theater

And here is a small sampling from Marc's almost 2 1/2 hour concert.

video: Marc Broussard @ The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor, MI

Thanks Froggie for looking out for me! Without you as my travel buddy I would have missed so many wonderful concerts.

Next adventure booked is East Lansing in December to see Taylor in 'Grease'.
What a fab birthday present for me!

Friday, October 10, 2008

What's Going On and On!

photo caption: From OK Magazine
Taylor Hicks article
(click to enlarge)

In a nut shell here's what's going on:
I took a little hiatus from blogging, after cutting the umbilical cord attaching me to my computer first :-) Ouch!
My apologies for not being up to date with what's going on in Taylor Hicks' career, especially with so many fabulous things happening.

It's been a busy month for me, but it's been an even busier month for news from Taylor. The following article from Alec Harvey and the two videos below are a quick recap of what's been going on and what's coming!

Hicks Is The Word
By Alec Harvey
Birmingham News

With a new record deal and an upcoming tour of 'Grease', the Alabama Idol's career is in high gear

Taylor Hicks says he's living out of suitcases for the time being.
Taylor Hicks is rarely at a loss for words.
But he's had to contain himself this year, hearing and reading that his 800,000-unit-selling self-titled CD was a one-shot deal. That he wouldn't sign another record deal. That the 2006 "American Idol" was through.

"It's about driven me crazy to hold my tongue," Hicks says. "I've wanted to talk about this for three months, but I've been patient and trying to be smart about choosing my battles."

The battle, it seems, is over.

Hicks, who turned 32 on Tuesday, announced on his birthday that he had signed a deal to release his new CD in February 2009. It'll be on his own Modern Whomp Records label through Artist to Market (A2M), which gives the Birmingham native control over his recording destiny.

"I was offered a plethora of record deals, some traditional record deals and some non-traditional record deals," Hicks says. "It's been very hard not to just hop on the first one that was offered, but during that time when there was a lot more speculation that I might never sign one again, it couldn't have been further from the truth."

He calls the A2M deal "very cutting edge."

"In today's marketplace, having the control as the artist is key," Hicks says. "I'm in control of where I spend my marketing dollars, who I want to record with, and in control of the companies I hire out. It allows me a really focused release. Basically, I am my own record label."

What that means for the upcoming CD is that the bulk of it will be written or co-written by Hicks, who cut his musical teeth in bars in and around Birmingham.

"I've always been a singer-songwriter, and that's going to be able to surface a lot more than it did on the last record," he says. "On the last one, things had to move at such a quick pace that the actual art of songwriting couldn't really be seen on the last record."

Hicks is in pre-production of the CD now, working with producer Simon Climie (Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Faith Hill) in the studio.

"I don't have a title for it, yet," Hicks says. "I'm kind of waiting for it to hit me."

Announcement of the new record deal comes just after Hicks' stint in the Broadway production of "Grease" comes to an end, and just before he hits the road as that show's Teen Angel for the national tour beginning Dec. 1.

Taylor Hicks earned positive notices when he played Teen Angel in "Grease" on Broadway. "It was such a success and such a great way for me to learn a new craft," Hicks says of his Broadway debut. "I feel like if I'm going to have longevity in the entertainment industry, I've got to cover all aspects. I have to reinvent myself."
The national tour of "Grease" will offer a unique hybrid for Hicks, he says.

"We're going to cross-promote this record with the 'Grease' tour," he says. "I'll be allowed to perform my single in the show on tour."

Most importantly, it offers fans a chance to experience Hicks live, which he says is crucial to his success.

"There's such a live aspect to me," he says. "You put me on the radio, and you can't see me, you can't feel me, you can't touch me, so it's easy to count me out in that regard. On the road, that's where you really make your mark and have your longevity."

So don't count Hicks out just yet. He's only getting started, he says, and he doesn't pay attention to the naysayers.

photo caption:
"I hear those things, but I'm not into the talk, I'm into the walk," Taylor Hicks says.

video: Taylor Hicks interview, MY FOX, Birmingam
October 9,2008

To recap Taylor's last year, Karin has done another "Trip Around the Sun" video in celebration of Taylor Hicks' most recent trip around the sun which he completed on October 7th.

Happy 32nd birthday Taylor!

Uploaded by KarinP

video: Taylor Hicks' Trip Around The Sun 2007-2008

And finally a slew of karma coffee with a slight twist, lots of caffeine and sarcasm here, just too cute not to share:

The Zen of Sarcasm

1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me the hell alone.

2 . It's always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.

3. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.

4. Always remember that you're unique. Just like everyone else.

5. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

6. If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

7. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes

8. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is probably not for you.

9. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

10. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably a wise investment.

11. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

12. Some days you're the bug; some days you're the windshield.

13. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

14. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.

15. A closed mouth gathers no foot.

16. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.

17. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.

18. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

19. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

20. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.