Song Lyric Spotlight: Halloween Twofer

It’s been a while, but Song Lyric Spotlight is back!

I was inspired because today is Halloween.

There are, of course, countless spooky and Halloween-themed songs floating around like so many ill-mannered ghosts.

Today, I am presenting two songs which take the concept of the lullaby and childhood fears and go in drastically different directions.

The first song is: Lullaby (lyrics) by The Cure from their Disintegration album.

This is an intensely creepy song about a man-spider creeping into the singer’s bedroom to devour him alive.

Some lyrics:

On candystripe legs, the spiderman comes
softly through the shadow of the evening sun
stealing past the windows of the blissfully dead
looking for the victim shivering in bed


The next song, is also a lullaby and it is a much more of a standard, reassuring one.

The song is The Hand That Rocks The Cradle (lyrics) by The Smiths from their debut album.

It is a song a father sings to his son reassuring that he will always be there to protect him.

Please don’t cry
For the ghost and the storm outside
Will not invade this sacred shrine
Nor infiltrate your mind
My life down I shall lie
If the bogey-man should try
To play tricks on your sacred mind
To tease, torment, and tantalise
Wavering shadows loom
A piano plays in an empty room
There’ll be blood on the cleaver tonight

Still creepy, but touching as well.


CC Speech 8: Get Comfortable with Visual Aids

The eighth project in the Competent Communicator Manual is: Get Comfortable with Visual Aids.

The goal of this projects is to become proficient is the use of visual aids to enhance the impact of your speech.

Suggestions for visual aids include: props, flip charts and PowerPoint presentations.

The challenge is to design the visual aids in such a way that they add an extra dimension to the verbal presentation and not distract from it.

My speech was presented on December 22nd and was entitled: A Christmas Tale.  The speech was about the phenomenon of Department Store and Mall Santas.

I began the speech quoting from “Santa Claus is Coming to Town“: You better watch out.  You better not cry. You better not pout.  I’m telling you why.  Santa Clause is coming to town.

Throughout the speech, my PowerPoint slides had pictures and summary text to support my points, all with a red and green Christmas motif.

I discussed the ubiquity of the department store Santa and the history of the phenomenon.  Then I detailed my history with the subject.  I mentioned my visit to Santa as a child and my turn working as a Mall Santa.

I then talked, from my experience, about how magical the visit to Santa can be for a small child but mentioned the potential for horror and trauma for the child if they’re too young or unprepared for the experience, warning parents that they “better watch out”.

Snowed in

I just got back from spending Christmas with the family in New York.  It turned into spending Christmas WEEK since both New York and Virginia Beach got hit with blizzards on Christmas Day.  My flight back on Sunday was canceled and I couldn’t get another one until today.

I got back safe and it wasn’t too big of an inconvenience.  Unfortunately, this meant I wasn’t able to make it back into town to present Moments of Truth and will have to reschedule.  I’m thinking of doing it in March when we have five Wednesdays again.

It’s a setback, but unavoidable and not too bad.  It hasn’t gotten me down; I’m still dithyrambic about Toastmasters and my educational path.

On a happier note, I got Original Table Topics for Christmas, which I plan to use in the club.

I’m also going to be participating in Post a Week 2011 to help keep my posting more frequent and regular.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Our  club had its meeting today, despite it being the day before Thanksgiving and many people being out of town.

I had planned on resorting to an all Table Topics meeting given the expected low turnout.

As a pleasant surprise, we actually had two members volunteer to present prepared speeches.


I served as Table Topics Master today, as well as Toastmaster to keep things moving smoothly since I had planned to have to do without speeches.

For the Table Topics, I presented eight holiday-inspired questions in honor of Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday season.  I will share the questions below.

As a fun exercise, I’d love to read your answers to the questions in the comments.

Let’s hear what you have to say!

  1. Describe your favorite meal growing up.  What was it?  What do you remember fondly about it?
  2. Describe your best or most memorable Christmas Gift.
  3. What types of holiday traditions did you have in your family?
  4. Tell a story about your Grandparents.
  5. Count your blessings: list as many things as possible that you’re thankful for, and why.
  6. Describe your ideal vacation.  What would you do?  Where would you go?
  7. Tell us about a gift you really wanted when you were a child, but didn’t get.
  8. What’s the best thing you’ve ever done for someone else?


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