Are You Hooked?

hook image

hook image

While working on the IBM PC Company’s pilot internal SAP implementation project back in the 1995 timeframe, I was invited by some coworkers to attend a Blues Traveler concert that was occurring at a local outdoor concert pavilion.

Blues Traveler had released a song that year that everyone seemed to be hooked on.  By chance do you remember the title of the song?  Hook is the answer.

As the Wikipedia definition for the song states:  “The song’s title refers to a hook in music terminology: the catchy element or phrase of a song which makes it distinctive and memorable.”

Do you have any favorite musical hooks?  And, has a song ever hooked you with its first lyric?

Here are eight examples of first lyrics that always seem to lure me into listening (you’ll see the associated song title and artist called out in parentheses):

  • “He said I’ll love you ‘til I die.”  (He Stopped Loving Her Today; George Jones)
  • “I made it through the wilderness.”  (Like a Virgin; Madonna)
  • “Hey, Jude, don’t make it bad.”  (Hey, Jude; The Beatles)
  • “Last night all alone in a bar room, I met a girl with a drink in her hand.”  (Almost Persuaded; David Houston)
  • “You walked into the party like you were walking onto a yacht.” (You’re So Vain; Carly Simon)
  • “This one goes out to the one I love.” (The One I Love; R.E.M.)
  • “Amarillo by morning, up from San Antoine.” (Amarillo By Morning; George Strait)
  • “Crazy, I’m crazy for feeling so lonely.” (Crazy; Patsy Kline)

Now, let’s forget about songs.  Which people, places or things have immediately grabbed your attention in the past few weeks or months, and how soon did you become hooked?

More importantly, which of your hooked on habits or associations do you need to break?

A Second Hand Post

Handwritten Blog Post

Handwritten Blog Post

Note:  This blog post was originally handwritten.

The January 9 and 16, 2012 issue of Newsweek featured an article by Sharon Begley on how to raise your IQ along with “31 Ways to Get Smarter in 2012.” One suggested way to increase your smarts was to write by hand.  The article suggested that handwriting “engages more sections of your brain than typing” and that you can recall ideas more easily after writing them down.The suggestion made me think and wonder:  beyond the obligatory, occasional thank you notes penned on monogrammed stationery or the checks written for specific personal purchases or bills payments, how often do I handwrite in this increasingly digital world?

When considering my history when it comes to handwriting, I still remember the thrill of being allowed to write in cursive form in the third grade during the early ’70s.  I also remember that my father ,who practiced law in the ’70s, had a secretary who knew how to write in shorthand.  And, I remember the fun of writing in “Pig Latin” with early childhood friends.

I remember the excitement of receiving handwritten “love notes” from classmates in middle and junior high school as well as discovering the art of poetry writing.  And, I can’t forget how “exotic” it felt to communicate via handwritten letters with a French Pen Pal during my ninth grade year.  Such a global communication is so commonplace now, as we live in a world with global Facebook Friends and Twitter Followers.

I can recall handwriting my high school valedictory speech, the verbal delivery of which was preserved in a VHS tape, and how could I forget the countless notes hand-drafted during my college courses or those two-hour hand-written college exam essays?

Though I learned to type in high school, my transition from routine handwriting to the online digital world began with a Brother brand word processor in the early ’90s.  I became fully entrenched in online technology and endeavors when I began working as a communications specialist on the former IBM PC Company division’s internal SAP software implementation.  From that point, my online typing overtook my handwriting efforts.

Over time, many of my most treasured keepsakes are hand-written cards, poems and letters from family, friends and loved ones. I own journals and boxes to store the memorable words that carry so much meaning.

What about you?  What have been your most significant personal writings?  How have you maintained or honored those words?  And, how often do you handwrite today?

Maybe you should write your answers to those questions down.  According to the Newsweek article and author Begley, your brain may appreciate your doing so.

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