November Rambling: Candy, Poetry, and 50 Shades

An Opinion Piece On A Controversial Topic. “Pretty awesome meta.”

Gettysburg Address at 150.

Heidi Boghosian joins Bill Moyers for a conversation on what we all need to know about surveillance in America. “Spying on democracy,” indeed.

The defense should not be permitted to refer to the prosecutor… as “the Government.” It might sound… prejudicial.

Texas Man Sued for Defamation by Fracking Company that Contaminated his Water Supply.

“You could get better if you wanted to.” “You should just try harder.” “You’re being lazy.” “You need to be more motivated.” “You’re so needy.”

Methodist Pastor Has 30 Days to Renounce His Gay Children or Be Defrocked; it’s a matter of right and wrong.

Always Go to the Funeral.

Exclusive excerpt from Art Spiegelman’s Co-Mix retrospective. Some lifetime ago, before Maus Continue reading

As though the Beatles needed ME to defend them

I’m on Facebook Sunday night, and I get a notification that I’m mentioned in a post. This one from my friend Broome says: “I just wrote a Note about the Beatles and why they and their music are so important. I hope Roger Green or ANYONE ELSE will write something so I can take the drivel I have written and burn it.” I disagree with his characterizartion of his observations.

I purloined the whole conversation and placed it HERE because I don’t know that people who aren’t on FB can otherwise read it. (My biggest complaint about my historically favorite bloggers is that they put so much stuff on FB that I believe is inaccessible to some.)

Broome makes the odd notion that this issue needs to be litigated at all, instead of being noted as a settled fact. The Beatles were and are important because millions of fans and loads of critics believe them to be so. Beethoven was and is important because people long ago decided it, and his music appears everywhere from the soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever to, well, the Beatles.

Broome’s young friend Raymond, born in 1973, reviews several albums. The first is Beatles for Sale. I must say Continue reading

Thanksgiving tunes

I wanted a quick post for today; after all, it IS a holiday. I found Thanksgiving playlist: Top 20 songs of gratitude, which was a pretty decent roster. It contained some good, but obvious choices, such as Sam & Dave, though NOT the original version, and I couldn’t find that on YouTube either. There were also some nice finds, such as Ella doing that Bob Hope theme song.

I did notice, however, that while the Sly song is on the list Continue reading

Randy Newman is 70, tomorrow

Did I ever tell my “I sorta met Randy Newman” story? Probably.

I was at the Poughkeepsie, NY train station in mid-May 2000, returning from a conference. There was a guy at the station, with a woman and two children, and he looked very much like Randy Newman. So I walked over to him, and said, “Excuse me.” And he said, “Randy Newman.”

This is what I wanted to say: “Wow, I’ve loved your music ever since [the #1 song, below.] I sure hope you get that Oscar you deserve [he has since gotten two, in twenty nominations]. You know, that damn song on Toy Story 2 Continue reading

The Lydster, Part 116: Calendaring

Most of the time, I try to come up with a narrative about the Daughter. This time, just the calendar.

This fall, she was playing soccer. Unfortunately, in the very first game, fairly early on, she got kicked in the foot, left the game in pain, and never returned. But she was back in action by the following week. She likes playing defense, and is more interested in protecting her team’s goal rather than making a goal. However, for her homework, she has to write sentences, and she has allowed that someday, she WOULD indeed like to score a goal. That phase ended on November 2.

Both last year and this, there were two weekends where she had soccer, PLUS Continue reading

T is for Title songs for pop albums that have no title songs

So I had this bright idea of writing this trial balloon of a post elsewhere and post the completed item here. Ah, but I got no responses to the core question, though I DID think of another, VERY obvious example.

There is this song called Magnet and Steel by a guy named Walter Egan that was a Top 10 song in 1978. I liked it, as it had a certain stroll feeling. Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham, the newish and commercially successful additions to Fleetwood Mac, sing on the chorus, BTW. I bought the album Not Shy, on vinyl – still have it, in fact – and realized that Magnet & Steel served as a quasi-title song for the album. The line in the chorus, “With you, I’m not shy,” is sung several times.

This got me to wondering: what other songs functionally serve as the title song, but are not the actual title of the album? That is, the title of the album appears in the lyric of the song? Note: only the first batch have links to the songs.

Brain Damage by Pink Floyd from Dark Side of the Moon, possibly the most famous. Continue reading

Ticking people off

My old blogging buddy Greg – he’s not that old, actually, but is one of the first bloggers I actually followed – wrote on his Facebook page a while back: “Have you ever ticked someone off, and you know you ticked them off, but you’re not sure how? If you’re not really good friends with them, you can’t really ask them, and they don’t say what happened, and it’s weirdly frustrating. Recently, it’s happened twice to me … It doesn’t really affect my life too much, but it’s just annoying, because I do try to not tick people off. Has this ever happened to you?”

OK, he didn’t actually write “tick” but close enough. And yes, one DOES want to be self-aware.

Yeah, it’s happened at least a couple times. Continue reading

VIDEO REVIEW: The Sound of Music

One could reasonably make the case for movies one ought to see that came out this century. But there are SO many that I have never seen from the 20th Century that I don’t worry about the current stuff as much as I used to. Somehow, prior to this fall, I had NEVER seen The Sound of Music in its entirety. Oh, I’ve seen scenes, of course, but that’s not nearly the same thing.

It’s odd too, because my mother had the LP soundtrack going back to nearly when it was released in 1965. I’ve had the CD of same for at least a decade and a half, and I love it dearly. I have great affection for the Morning Hymn that the nuns sing early on, and it’s in my Top Five movie soundtracks ever, along with West Side Story and Fiddler on the Roof.

Still, I had not seen many of the songs in the context of the film. Is there a more stunning opening of a movie than the background of the Alps while Maria (Julie Andrews) sings the title song? Continue reading

JiFKa: the 50th anniversary of the death of John Fitzgerald Kennedy

A couple years back, I asked What was the first public trauma – as opposed to a personal trauma, such as a death or divorce in the family – that you recall? And while not my first event, the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, when I was ten years old and didn’t understand what happened next – I was not yet seeped in Presidential succession law – was terrifying. The death itself was already scary enough.

It certainly didn’t help that Miss Oberlik, our fifth grade teacher, told us the news, LEFT THE ROOM, for some reason Continue reading

The good news: my daughter will never become a smoker

Today is the Great American Smokeout. Last year, if I recall, I wrote some anti-smoking screed, and someone thought it was terribly mean to smokers (I didn’t think so.)

I decided to write something nice about smokers this year. Well, until my daughter had some particularly bad reactions recently. If someone walks by her with a lit cigarette, she starts hacking uncontrollably. She can control this only a little by holding her breath, IF she sees the smoker coming. (From years of living with a smoker, I have learned the ability to block the inside of my nose and breathe through my mouth until the danger passes.)

Her asthma is apparently more severe than mine – she’s missed school this fall because of it. Yes, I recognize that cigarettes are legal Continue reading