Minimalist memes

First one from Jaquandor and SamuraiFrog which puts me into the spirit of Fiddler on the Roof, specifically If I Were A Rich Man.

If I were a month, I’d be March.
If I were a day of the week, I’d be Sunday.
If I were a time of day, I’d be 10 a.m.
If I were a planet, I’d be Neptune.
If I were a sea animal, I’d be a dolphin.
If I were a direction, I’d be northeast.
If I were a piece of furniture, I’d be an ottoman.
If I were a liquid, I’d be the spring water.
If I were a gemstone, I’d be aquamarine.
If I were a tree, I’d be an oak.
If I were a tool, I’d be a screwdriver.
If I were a flower, I’d be a lily of the valley.
If I were a kind of weather, I would be misty.
If I were a musical instrument, I’d be a pipe organ.
If I were a color, I’d be green, inevitably.
If I were an emotion Continue reading

Hemby is 58

I always mention the birthday of Fred Hembeck on this blog, not just because he’s my friend, but because he very specifically got me into blogging. When I discovered his blog in October 2004, not only did I read it, I went back and read everything on his site, going back to its inception on New Years Day 2003. Subsequently, I gave him an idea or two for his blog, then I decided, “Hey, maybe I should do my OWN blog.” Whether that’s worked out is for you to judge.

Moreover, he promoted my blog several times that first several months. Not only that, he had a boatload of links to check out, so I did. I would comment on someone’s blog, that person would check out my blog, and directly or indirectly, most of my blogging buddies are a result of Fred’s roster.

Fred is still blogging regularly, though not daily, as he was in the beginning. He does have a separate section where he talks about films, Hey, Did I Tell You About That MOVIE I Saw Recently?, which is my favorite current feature. He also Continue reading

Useless skills QUESTION

My daughter went bowling at a friend’s birthday party, and the machine at the lane kept score. I can keep score in bowling; I learned when I bowled in a league when I was 9. A spare (/) counts 10 plus the next ball, a strike (X) 10 plus the next two balls, which is why one likes to string marks (X and /) together. (A Dutch 200 is a game with alternating strikes and spares.) And sometimes the machine is wrong. It counts pins that are down, and vice versa, but I can’t override it, and I hate that.

When I started my current job in 1992 Continue reading

Beatles Island Songs, 103-94

JEOPARDY! answers. Questions at the end.

FAMOUS WOMEN $200: After taking up with John Lennon, she became known as “The Woman Who Broke Up the Beatles”
NONFICTION $400: Vincent Bugliosi took the title of this 1974 book about the Manson murders from a Beatles song
INVENTIONS $200: Name shared by a Beatles album title & a 1835 invention of Samuel Colt

The rules of engagement

103 Words of Love from Beatles for Sale (US), Beatles VI (US). My sisters, neighbor, and I used to lipsynch to this album and charge the neighbor kids a nickel each to watch. I was Lennon and sister Leslie was McCartney. Listened to this Buddy Holly cover a lot.
102 She’s a Woman from the B-side to I Feel Fine (UK), Beatles ’65 (US). A jaunty McCartney tune.
101 I Will from the white album. A lovely McCartney tune, but I always thought it needed to be longer than 1:42, as most of the covers (Ben Taylor, Alison Krauss) are.
100 Paperback Writer, A-side of single (UK), Hey Jude album (US). Not sure that I really liked this song all that much on first listen, but it grew on me, especially the opening riff.
99 Yellow Submarine from Revolver. Continue reading

The Lydster, Part 82: The Girl Who Mistook A Coat Rack for Her Mother

Someone told me, when my daughter was an infant, that she would see me as perfect until she was about 12, then turn on me. That has proven not to be the case. To the contrary, the Daughter is really good at pointing out the errors of both of her parents already, though, like most of us, is less perceptive about her own flaws.

So if I leave something on the floor, or don’t hang up my coat or [horrors] EAT IN THE LIVING ROOM, then I definitely hear about it. Yet she is struck blind by the things on the floor that are hers, unless I threaten to vacuum them up.

She laughs when I accidentally misspeak a word, but not so much when I am deliberately trying to be funny. Continue reading

B is for Brain Blips

A couple months ago, I came across this interview of Barbara Strauch, author of “The Secret Life of the Grown-up Brain: The Surprising Talent of the Middle-Aged Mind.”

This paragraph jumped out at me: “Strauch notes that people in midlife start experiencing more brain blips. She opens the book in her basement, pondering what she went there for. She asks around, and finds that her middle-aged acquaintances have similar zone-outs.”

I so recognize this. Oh, and this: “Names in particular are easy to forget if all we’ve learned is the sound. The more context we have — the more ways something is cross-referenced in our memory banks — the better chance we have of excavating it from storage.”

When we were children, my sisters and I used to razz my grandmother for saying things like, “Oh, that’s the old [such and so] building.” It had never been called that in OUR lifetimes; why couldn’t she call it what it’s called now?

Move forward 40 years. I seriously can’t remember Continue reading

The Ninja Meme

Apparently, when I do a meme, I REALLY need to do it, this time a two-parter from Sunday stealing: Part 1 and Part 2.

Picture of Emmylou Harris posted for no thematic reason whatsoever.

1. What do you add to your coffee?

Don’t drink coffee. Drink tea, generally straight or with lemon. Occasionally with cream and sugar.

2. What are you reading now?

A pile of backed up periodicals with 2010 dates on them, which will get tossed by the end of the month, whether I’ve read them or not.

3. Do you own a gun?

No. But interestingly, my Google alert let me know about Roger M. Green, a gun maker in Wyoming.

4. Are you registered to vote?


5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments?

Not really.

6. What do you think of hot dogs?

I like hot dogs, especially grilled in the summer, or at a baseball game.

7. Favorite Christmas Song?

Coventry Carol.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?

Flavored water.

9. Can you do push ups?

Not many.

10. What was the name of your first boyfriend/girlfriend?


11. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry?

Other than my wedding ring, have none.

12. Favorite hobby?


13. Do you work with people who idolize you?

Doesn’t everyone?

14. Do you have ADD?


15. What’s one trait that you hate about yourself? Continue reading

Honey, I’d like to watch 2 MORE football games today, OK?

It happens almost all the time in the last several years: I end up watching more football games in the playoffs than I did during the entire regular season. That’s not all bad; I managed to miss my New York Giants giving up 28 points to the Philadelphia Eagles in eight minutes, a loss which essentially cost them the playoffs. Yet I’ve managed to have seen at least part of all eight playoff games leading to Super Bowl XLV thus far, though by no means all of them. All I saw of the Bears’ shellacking of the Seahawks was the 10 minutes I watched at the Radio Shack, and the Bears were already up 21-0.

Whereas I watched most of both of the Jets’ wins over the Colts and especially over the Patriots. Rooting interests are peculiar things. The sports guy at the local paper has a personal rule that once you pick a team to root for while in your teens, you have to stick with that team for life.

Though not a fan Continue reading

Editing literature and the N-word Questions

You’ve probably heard about someone wanting to take the works of Mark Twain and republish them, replacing the word N@$$%! with the word “slave”. I think this is pretty lame as I have previously indicated.

Yet, while I’m not crazy about the word, I’m less bothered by it when it’s 1) used in historic context or 2) to make a particular point. Film critic Roger Ebert got into some hot water using the word recently. He didn’t bother me, but some of the comments I’ve seen in response to his use Continue reading