Category Archives: The News

The Man Behind, “Happy”

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I like to serve breakfast for the M & M girls, while they sit

and watch “Dora the Explorer” and “Bubble Guppies.” This is always

before we head off, with bellies full, for adventures! I sat on the

other side of the room, watching my little dining room television,

sipping on my coffee and eating my hot breakfast.

I like to reflect on this t.v’s history and share with you, it

includes being in my youngest daughter’s old bedroom in the house

we sold, along with her University of Dayton dorm room! I was

watching, CBS Sunday Morning. The next guest ‘up’ for an interview

was Pharrell Williams.

The girls jumped up, luckily with no waffles and syrup dripping all

over them, to dance to Pharrell Williams’ song, “Happy.” I had not

read much about his background, so I was thrilled that they were

going to share personal details about someone who I have admired

since the first Awards’ ceremony held in 2014, along with his

participation in the Beatles’ 50th Anniversary Celebration.

This interview held genuine ‘gold nuggets’ to share about his life!

If you caught the broadcast, this may remind you of how far this

man has come! Another great interview, with Oprah, shows more of

his sincere and humble side. The cameras ‘roll’ while he cries

tears of joy, watching how people all around the world, take their

video cameras (or cell phones) and film themselves dancing in the

streets to the song he wrote, “Happy.”

Pharrell was 41 when he was honored to be chosen to write the

theme song and perform for the “Despicable Me 2” movie. The first

animated children’s film has a great story line about children in

an orphanage and a ‘grumpy’ irritated man and his ‘minions.’ These

adorable children and ‘minions’ bond, long before the older man

realizes how much he cares about the three little ones. I have

covered the first movie in another post but look forward to seeing

the second one, in DVD form.

Pharrell had been singing for quite some time, from early childhood

up through his high school years. He released his first single in

2003 and his first Cd, in 2006. His childhood friend, Shay Haley and

he had formed a band, “The Neptunes.”

It had not worked out at first. Maturity and disparate personalities

held their progress back.

He also has a partner, Chad Hugo, who together they labeled their

production team currently as, “The Neptunes.” They produce hip hop,

soul and R & B musical style record albums. They also have

come up with fashion designer labels, selling clothes that reflect

their unique style.

Now, Chad Hugo, Pharrell Williams and Shay Haley perform as a

group called, “N.E.R.D.” playing rock, funk and hip hop music.

In 2006, Pharrell was noticed and making friends with famous people

like Justin Timberlake. But he still felt his Cd just sat there,

‘spinning its wheels.’

He really wasn’t ‘discovered’ until he sang, “Happy!” I like the

rhythm and blues, easy-going tone that resembles a combination of

Michael Buble and Frank Sinatra. Any age will enjoy this pleasant

song, no matter what genre you usually listen to.

His fashion statement, wearing a Smokey the Bear hat in all the

Awards shows, became popular. Some people feel that “anything

Pharrell touches, turns to gold.”

His story goes back to a spotted high school career of C’s, D’s

and F’s. He was friends with someone who he tried to ‘play out’

in a band, under the name of “The Neptunes.” Shay and his musical

struggles were not horrible, but he was not an ‘overnight success,’

as he had hoped. The friend and he parted ways, before his solo Cd

came out. Now, they are inseparable. Changes had to occur, within

himself.

When he completed his Cd in 2006, Pharrell wondered what was

wrong? Why didn’t he just make it ‘big time?’ He was not in the

current frame of mind, he was a little depressed.

Pharrell Williams felt his first solo Cd was a ‘failure.”

After much thought and consideration, he chose to become a better

person. He set aside his ‘ego.’ He felt by studying greats, giving

specific credit to Stevie Wonder, it helped him to figure out why

others were successful.

Pharrell saw that Stevie Wonder’s songs carried uplifting messages

and were of a positive nature. Deep contemplation is part of his

new persona. He depicts a calm, thoughtful man in interviews.

This is apparent in his carefully chosen words to answer questions.

The song, “Happy,” floundered until he ‘took it to the streets,’

letting others jump and dance around, while he sang and did the

same. It is a real experience, authentic in its tone. Pharrell’s

video for the cover song, “Happy,” was completed in November, 2013.

He doesn’t mind being called, “The Happy Man.”

There is a little bit of philosophy and introspection by Pharrell

Williams of his ‘sudden’ fame. How he feels about the hard work it

took for him to get to where he is today. Seven years from the first

Cd’s release:

Pharrell considers himself, “so thankful.”

He feels nervous to try and analyze, “Why?”

He considers himself “lucky” and feels his “stars have aligned.”

His words impart newfound ‘wisdom’ to those who have dreams.

Pharrell seems to show a mixture of faith and deep thinking,

along with allowing the universe to flow around us.

“Don’t try to figure out how to make money.”

In other words, do what you love and enjoy. He gives

the thoughts to go after what you wish, but don’t

have expectations of how it will come about.

If you should happen to find things fall into place,

’embrace it.’

“And don’t give yourself too much credit–

because it is not all you.” (I love this one!)

Pharell W. used a metaphor in his parting thoughts:

“It’s not the kite– it’s the air.”

Good Friday Morning?

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If you got up on Friday morning and drove past the

central Ohio gas stations, you will have seen a huge

jump in gas prices! You would be outraged, as I was

while driving to work. But my anger started way before

that moment of seeing the increased gas prices, that

rose from $2.17 to $2.45 in only one day!

So sad to hear, while eating my cereal, sipping on my

hazelnut coffee, about an 83 year old man’s horrible

experience yesterday morning. This was Friday, January

10th, before most people that work days are even awake.

I get up at 5 a.m. and this poor, elderly gentleman was

delivering newspapers in a big stack to a southern

Columbus Certified gas station.

He walked out of the gas station, having done his daily

routine, around 4 a.m. He unlocked his car and while on

the passenger side of the car, a quickly moving stout

man climbed in behind the wheel. The man shouted loudly,

as he explained to first the police, later the news

reporters,

“Hey, get out of my car, buddy!”

While the driver put the car into reverse, this spunky,

wiry newspaper delivery man, grabbed onto the handle of

the passenger’s door. He held on for ‘dear life!’ Once

the driver swung speedily into forward with a wide arc,

the older gentleman fell into the 2-3″ of snowy wetness.

His coat that was open, his shirt and pants were soaked,

while his indignation and ire were high!

My Grandmother Mattson may have intoned, once again, this

familiar expression,

“What is the world coming to? When you cannot trust your

neighbors to treat an elderly man with respect and courtesy,

somehow this is one of those lows that you wished would not

happen.

Anger at such an outrage, from the man’s verbal and facial

expressions of reliving the experience carried over to me.

Through time and space, traveling through and seeping out

of my television screen, filled me with an equal fervor!

His car, a 2006 Lacrosse was stolen or the new label given,

‘carjacked.’ I had not heard the follow up story being

covered, while watching the 5 o’clock news, later last night.

The guilty party was a white, fat and chubby man, of 5’6”

height approximately, wearing a black vest. His appearance,

thanks to video cameras in such locations showed an average

man, no real apparent scraggly, disheveled look, as you

would expect a thief to have. Stooping so low to take a man

whose retirement income doesn’t stretch enough, so he must

wake in the dead of morning, to deliver papers.

This was some ‘wake up’ for me, filling me with the energy

of a man who can lift a car up off of a caught person.

If you woke up today (or yesterday) and it went uneventfully,

you (and I) are so lucky!!

My Grandfather Mattson would say of such behavior,

“That was a fine howdy do!”