In honor of National Library Week, April 13-19 this year:
SamuraiFrog and Jaquandor did this. But I’m not sure why *I* did this, because I never once played Dungeons & Dragons, though it was very popular among my circle of friends in college. And the reason was that I thought it was too…dorky. Given the fact that I was collecting comic books at the time, this is a bold, and probably unwise, assertion.
And the questions for What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be? were quite numerous, over 100 of them.
Yet I’m glad I did it. It reminded me of the fact that, particularly at certain points in my life, I either wanted to be a cleric, or found myself in the sometimes uncomfortable position of being a father-confessor figure. As long as I can remember, people have told me LOTS of stuff in confidence. I know (or have forgotten) more secrets about other people’s lives than you could imagine.
I Am A: Chaotic Good Human Cleric (6th Level)
Chaotic Good A chaotic good character acts as his conscience directs him with little regard for what others expect of him. He makes his own way, but he’s kind and benevolent. He believes in goodness and right but has little use for laws and regulations. He hates it when people try to intimidate others and tell them what to do. He follows his own moral compass, which, although good, may not agree with that of society. Chaotic good is the best alignment you can be because it combines a good heart with a free spirit. However, chaotic good can be a dangerous alignment because it disrupts the order of society and punishes those who do well for themselves.
Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.
Clerics act as intermediaries between the earthly and the divine (or infernal) worlds. A good cleric helps those in need, while an evil cleric seeks to spread his patron’s vision of evil across the world. All clerics can heal wounds and bring people back from the brink of death, and powerful clerics can even raise the dead. Likewise, all clerics have authority over undead creatures, and they can turn away or even destroy these creatures. Clerics are trained in the use of simple weapons, and can use all forms of armor and shields without penalty, since armor does not interfere with the casting of divine spells. In addition to his normal complement of spells, every cleric chooses to focus on two of his deity’s domains. These domains grants the cleric special powers, and give him access to spells that he might otherwise never learn. A cleric’s Wisdom score should be high, since this determines the maximum spell level that he can cast.
Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)
Busy month coming. Black History Month at church, and I’m doing two adult ed sessions. One will be helping to hone my presentation at the Underground Railroad Conference in Troy, NY at the end of the month.
The one weekend I won’t be doing BHM stuff, I’ll probably be here.
Finally gave blood on January 18. I was scheduled to donate two or three times before that, but just didn’t feel up to it. The four months between donations is the longest I’ve gone since I had to pass for a year when I got rabies shots. The weird thing is that twice in a row, I got reminder cards about my donation six to eight days AFTER I was scheduled to donate; unhelpful AND a waste of money.
I was in the home office. There was this thin book that was falling off the shelf. Turned out to be The Connoisseur’s Guide to the Contemporary Horror Film by the late Chas Balun, an item I hadn’t thought about in years. When I was working at this comic book store called FantaCo, we sold many, many copies of the item. I went over to Steve Bissette’s site to let him know about this, and wouldn’t you know, but that he had just written about Chas and that very booklet! How odd.
ABC-TV is plugging this new show called The Deep End, about some young lawyers. The voiceover says, “From the network that brought you Grey’s Anatomy”, as though network affiliation is a reason to watch the show. Yet it DOES remind me of Grey’s in that there’s a guy under water; Meredith Grey practically drown a couple seasons ago. I shan’t be watching; hey I got 85% of my DVR capacity used up.
This reminds me of a poster SamuraiFrog wrote about, the text of which was “from the studio that brought you THE PROPOSAL.” as though anyone would go to a film for that reason. Goofy.
This incredible machine was “built as a collaborative effort between the Robert M. Trammell Music Conservatory and the Sharon Wick School of Engineering at the University of Iowa. Amazingly, 97% of the machines components came from John Deere Industries and Irrigation Equipment of Bancroft, Iowa.
A resource guide re Haiti.
Anyone know the shelf life for amoxicillin capsules? Wayne John wanted to know.
Another SF-found piece, on gay marriage, a satire.
Thom Wade reminds me why I’m not a Mormon
The Brand Identity Guru says The Bachelor and Bachelorette Brands Can’t Be More Racist. I don’t watch, but I’d be interested in the thoughts of those who do.
Was Jack Benny in the movie Casablanca? Mark Evanier doesn’t think so, but he’s not sure.
What Could Have Been Entering the Public Domain on January 1, 2010 under the law that existed until 1978 . . . Works from 1953.
Hard to find music and movies.
Salon finally figured out the joy of the Kennedy Center Honors. See also Kennedy Center Honorees at the White House.
Scholar Ladies a video response to Single Ladies by Beyonce.
Finally, the wife is trying to keep the daughter away from aspartame, the stuff in Equal and the other little blue packets, at least in the US, at least it is most of the time. And the stuff shows up in the darnedest places, such as packaged fruit cups one sends the daughter to school with.
But I’ve discovered that the DelMonte fruit cups, e.g., uses sucralose, the substance in Splenda and the other items in the yellow packet. Anyone aware of health issues for children with sucralose?
Three months before Lydia was born, I made a mixed CD for the child. We didn’t know whether we were having a boy or girl, so she was called Little Soul. Or more accurately, my wife’s friend Alison, who was in our wedding, dubbed her as such.
Anyway, the playlist is this, and for most of them I was able to find something on YouTube:
1. Mr. Sandman – the Chorettes. A song from the 1950s I always liked that I have on some compilation.
2. Lullabye (Good Night, My Angel) – Billy Joel. From his last proper pop album, River of Dreams. One of my favorite songs, even though, or maybe because, it has a certain melancholy.
3. Dreamland – Mary Chapin Carpenter, from her greatest hits album, Party Doll.
4. Good Night – the Beatles. From the white album, a Lennon tune sung by Ringo. I often sing it to Lydia before she goes to bed.
5. Lullaby for Sophia – the Beverwyck String Band. A lovely tune by our friend, violinist/vocalist Britney and a couple of her friends.
6. Alright for Now – Tom Petty. From my favorite Petty album, Full Moon Fever.
7. Sweet and Low – Bette Midler.(Starting at at 2:03)
8. All Through the Night – Shawn Colvin. The last two songs from some benefit album for the rain forest called Carnival, which also features Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals.
9. Common Threads – Bobby McFerrin. A song without words, a transition to the instrumental portion of the album.
Songs above are by the artist on the recording; below are not.
10. Brandenburg Concerto #5 Affectuoso – Bach.
11. Pachebel Canon. The last two by Neville Chamberlain & the English Chamber Music Orchestra.
12. Four Seasons: Autumn, adagio – Vivaldi.
13. Four Seasons: Winter, largo – Vivaldi.
14. Moonlight Sonata – Beethoven. Dubourg.
15. Fur Elise -Beethoven.
Now that she has her own boom box to go to sleep to, it’s in her pile of music to play. Not that she plays it as often as I had hoped, but I’m glad that she doesn’t seem to hate it.
STILL stuck in my mind: that great dance sequence from the movie 500 Days of Summer which makes more sense in context.
The song namechecks the song “Twist and Shout”.
Then there’s this new show on Nickelodeon the daughter is watching called The Fresh Beat Band. They were originally called the Jumparounds, plugged so often in the commercials as such that my daughter still refers them that way. (Also, she knows I think that their initial name was goofy, but the new moniker is boring – generic is what I actually said, but boring is a reasonable translation.) Think the Monkees aimed at four-year-olds. The Hispanic guitarist goes by Kiki and the red-haired percussionist is Marina. But it’s the guys’ names that I should note. The preternaturally tall guy is the beat boxer Twist, while the black keyboardist is named Shout. Twist and Shout? I expect that if this program catches on, the players will be replaced as though they were in Menudo. (None of them go by their real names.)
Which of course brings us to one of the great cover songs of all time, by the Beatles. Just saw this clip again on the Beatles Anthology, which I have on VHS. Don’t know why this song doesn’t get more respect in those “best covers” polls.
Speaking of covers, I’ve really gotten into the new television show Glee, but I must admit there are some 21st century songs I couldn’t tell you the original artist without looking it up. One piece I did recognize instantly, was Queen’s Somebody to Love. Probably my favorite cover thus far on the show.
But I still prefer the original. I own only Queen album, a greatest hits collection, and that on vinyl. (And unlike my CDs, my LPs are in great disarray.) Any Queen album recommendations?
“If you think you’re too small to have an impact,
try going to bed with a mosquito in the room.”
— Johan Bruyneel
In my twenties, I used to dress up for Halloween. While I might pull out my Frankenstein mask now and then – I REALLY can’t breathe in that thing – I’ve lost my All Hallows Eve mojo.
But this year, the child is going to need an escort for her trick-or-treating; her costume is a ballet dress that lights up – I might just surprise myself by dressing
All I want to know:
Are you dressing up for Halloween? As what?
Are you going to a party, or parties?
Are you going trick or treating? Do you have a child to provide you cover?
Top 10 Spooky Buildings
My friend Fred Hembeck’s comic icon, Soupy Sales, died this week. One of the many things Fred taught me about Soupy is that he was a Motown artist. Really. And some of the songs, as Fred noted, weren’t half bad.
A suitable tribute for Soupy.
Scott from Scooter Chronicles answers my questions.
I’ve seen this a couple places on the Internet already: the octogenarian war vet’s impassioned plea for gay rights.
My 81-year-old mother fell coming into her house last week. My sister who lives with her says she’s fine, and that’s good news, of course.
Even before hearing that news, I was thinking about the topic. On one hand, the fall is the lifeblood of physical comedy. Watch out for that banana peeeel! The role of the comedian, going back generations, perhaps millennia, was to take a tumble.
One of my all-time favorite TV shows was The Dick van Dyke Show. As you can see here, Dick would either trip over the ottoman, stumble over it, or neatly evade it.
And YouTube is chock full of people taking a tumble.
Conversely, One in three adults 65 and older falls each year in the United States. In 2005, 15,800 people 65 and older died from injuries related to unintentional falls; about 1.8 million people 65 and older were treated in emergency departments for nonfatal injuries from falls, and more than 433,000 of these patients were hospitalized, again in the U.S. And that doesn’t even touch on falls from elevation.
This brings me to LifeCall. From the Wikipedia: The motivation behind the systems is that subscribers, mostly senior citizens, would receive a pendant which, when activated, would put them in immediate contact with a dispatch service, without the need to use a phone or other household device…
So far so good.
In 1989, LifeCall began running commercials which contained a scene wherein an elderly woman, identified by a dispatcher as “Mrs. Fletcher” uses the medical alert pendant after having fallen in the bathroom. After falling Mrs Fletcher speaks the phrase “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” after which the dispatcher informs her that he is sending help.
Taken at its face value, the commercial portrays a dangerous situation for a senior, with perhaps dire consequences…
The “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” ad had the double misfortune of being unintentionally campy and appearing often on cable and daytime television. The fact that the commercial was a dramatization (as clearly stated in the beginning of the commercial) using rather mediocre acting also contributed to the humor. The combination made “I’ve fallen… and I can’t get up!” a recognized, universal punchline that applied to many comedic situations. All of these factors made the ad memorable, ensuring the line’s place in pop culture history.
The commercial’s punchline has also been appropriated by members of faith communities.
My final falling reference (briefly) will be falling in love. One could discuss ad nauseum what that really means. But I’ve had stuck in my head a song by Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers called “Falling in Love with Love.”
“Falling in Love with Love is falling for make-believe!
Falling in Love with Love is playing the fool!” Here’s Julie Andrews singing Falling In Love With Love.
Falling Creek, GA
Note: I had a bunch of photos put aside for the post which I CANNOT FIND. Photos taken from government websites.
What WAS a little surprising was that I couldn’t find the May birthday songs I own on YouTube; I’ve just started to expect it.
I first looked for the pair of songs from Pete Seeger’s We Shall Overcome album, a live 1963 recording. Pete did A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall and Who Killed Davey Moore; nope. Instead, here’s Paths of Victory
Happy birthday, Bob.
And now for something completely indulgent. Hey, it’s a blog; by definition it’s indulgent.
One of my sister sent my five -year-old daughter two one-use cameras, and I had no idea what she was photographing. The only instruction I gave her was to use the flash when she was inside. This is what she came up with, and I didn’t alter them in any way:
I took this one: the photographer.
Ringo Starr – Photograph, written by George Harrison and Ringo Starr.
Lydia’s pediatrician has a real antipathy about children watching television or videos. While most guidelines suggest avoiding kids watching TV before the age of two, we waited until she was three.
Most of the first programs were actually videos – programs on something called VHS – which we acquired from my now-18-year-old niece, all circa 1994. Surprisingly, given the fact that Alex was obsessed with him in the day, there was only one Barney video. (I remember specifically being chastised by my parents for NOT buying her a Barney thing in the day; it wasn’t my antipathy for Barney, it was “What do you buy someone who seems to have everything already?” It’d be like buying me Beatles stuff until they put out new product.)
I DO have antipathy for this Barney DVD I got from my in-laws, a “live-action” game show with a studio audience of kids and adults. My wife said that I might applaud if I were in the audience; maybe, but I just don’t want to SEE grown-ups getting all excited about the antics of a purple dinosaur.
Another batch of videos features “the Magic School Bus.” Voiced by Lily Tomlin as The Frizz, and occasionally Malcolm Jamal-Warner in the ending segment, they were so successful with Lydia that she now has over a dozen books and a DVD.
Not much else really stuck, other than Arthur, the aardvark, though she was briefly enamored with this funky 15-minute (in English, followed by the same in Spanish) home safety tape with the catchy tune, “Code Red Rover, grown-up come over.”
Ultimately she found there were shows on TV for her. Her first great love was Little Bear, based on the Maurice Sendak-drawn books from a half-century ago. She was onto Little Bear, and Emily, her doll Lucy, Cat, Duck, Hen, Owl, Mother Bear and Father Bear every day for about eight months until we were seeing the same episodes for the third time. Still we read the books, which are direct sources for some of the episodes.
Lydia’s current favorite TV show is Franklin, which again has but one character with a name other than Bear, Fox, Skunk, Mr. and Mrs. Turtle and so on. She likes calling Franklin Frank; she thinks this is wildly hysterical. The theme song is by Bruce Cockburn of “If I Had a Rocket Launcher” (“some [s.o.b.] would die”) fame.; actually have a half dozen Cockburn LPs.
But she has branched out:
Angelina Ballerina: on once a week, has fueled her need to dance. Not to take lessons, mind you, just to twirl in front of the set.
Ni-Hao, Kai-lan, Blue’s Clues: doesn’t actually watch unless it’s on in real time.
Jack’s Big Music Show: a program I’d almost watch without her.
Dora the Explorer: she watches relatively little of this, but she has Dora pajamas, Dora Band-Aids, several Dora books and she got a Dora DVD for her birthday. Why does she, and her cousin Diego, seem to YELL all the time. “WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE STORY?” And they are so damn earnest, too.
Her upcoming favorite is the Wonder Pets. a hamster, a turtle and duck get in their flyboat and save other animals. There’s always a costume change relevant to the location and some difficulty before they get going that turns out to be useful later on.
It was my wife, though, who noted the operatic stylings of the introductory piece:
Imagine if you can that, instead of Linny, it is a basso profundo singing: “The phone, the phone is ringing.” That octave descent alone would be stunning. Then a tenor, not Tuck, singing the second, a non-lisping contralto, rather than Ming-Ming, on the third. There’s a certain drama in the presentation.
The rest of the music is tied to the situation or the geography. Recently, WP saved the Rat Pack (three rats, one named Blue Eyes), a fiddler crab on the roof and a bluesy Louisiana bullfrog. This is award-winning stuff against stiff competition.
I figure that I’d better record this stuff now before she heads for school, for while I think I’ll “always remember”, chances are that I won’t. ROG