Tag Archives: YouTube

John Lennon Would Have Been 70


The Beatles were my favorite group, and John Lennon was my favorite Beatle. As I stated on Ringo’s 70th, I decided I would list my 10 favorite songs of each Beatle on his 70th birthday, or what would be his 70th. Here’s my JL list, with YouTube links throughout.

10. Crippled Inside – Frankly, I have lots of #10 choices, but this one jumped out at me this month playing all my Lennon CDs. Maybe it’s because of the juxtaposition between the title and the jaunty melody.
9. Mind Games – “Love IS the answer.”
8. Happy Xmas (War Is Over) – I had a girlfriend who thought this was the silliest Christmas song ever. (Had she heard Macca’s Wonderful Christmastime?) But I’m very fond, though I tended to cry when I heard it in December 1980. “War is over, if you want it.” Idealist? Naive? Don’t care.
7. Cold Turkey – with its blistering guitar line, it FELT like drug withdrawal. Continue reading John Lennon Would Have Been 70

30-Day Challenge: Day 22- Picture Of You On This Day

OK, I don’t know how to take a picture of me on this day. I gave my wife a digital camera for Christmas, 2007. She doesn’t know how to use it either. I have actually taken pictures accidentally with my cell phone but haven’t figured out: 1) how I did it or 2) how to retrieve them.

Now, to be fair, neither of us have put much effort into it; always something more pressing. I suppose I could have asked someone else, but I am disinclined. Continue reading 30-Day Challenge: Day 22- Picture Of You On This Day

MOVIE REVIEW: The Kids Are All Right


After my wife and I had our almost weekly summer date and saw the movie The Kids Are All Right, she noted that it was, in many ways, a very conventional, slice-of-life, film about the travails of family life. And I realized, that, at the core, she was absolutely right.

It’s a story about a long-time committed couple. They deal with the universal rigors of relationship, which was described as a marathon, not a sprint. It also involves their teenage kids, a girl just turning 18, and a boy, 15, dealing with sexuality, bullying, alcohol, and identity, just like many people.

OK, so not every movie involves a lesbian couple who were each artificially inseminated by an anonymous donor, who becomes less than anonymous when the boy gets the girl to find out who their common father is. And gay men’s porn is not always a family talking point.

What makes this an intriguing story was the script and direction of Lisa Cholodenko, creator of High Art and Laurel Canyon. Like those two films, as film critic Mick LaSalle noted, features “somebody from a world a little less structured who seduces someone from a world a little more regimented.”

The film is also blessed by the casting of Annette Bening, as a Type A doctor, and Julianne Moore, as her more bohemian partner. Their “unexotic, unglamorous and totally routine” lives are upended by the bio-dad (Mark Ruffalo); how (and why) he changes the family dynamic is an important part of the tale. A few critics carped that, in the end, conventionality, of a sort, is restored, but I think that’s the point.
Continue reading MOVIE REVIEW: The Kids Are All Right

Summertime Blues

It’s very warm on the second floor of my house. It was hot for several days last week, then it cooled off somewhat, only to have the heat return. The only place it isn’t hot is in the daughter’s room; she has a room air conditioner. The bedrooms have ceiling fans, which circulate but do not cool, the warm air.

The attic is comparable to doing the Bataan death march, after about 10 a.m.

The very good news, so far, is that we have not seen a bat in the living quarters. They seem to usually come in on the second or third day of a run of hot weather. Given the fact that we’ve had bats in 2002-2007 and 2009, I’m guessing that the insulation of the attic had an added effect.

Mowed the lawn Friday night with the reel mower, because weeds that look like miniature pine trees – what ARE those, anyway? – grow faster than the grass. BIG mistake. Even at 7:30 p.m., it was extremely humid. I did not have to worry too much about getting sunburn, but it was still so muggy, I needed to take a shower afterward.

A relative sent me one of those forwarded Very Important!!!! notices:
My car book says to roll down the windows to let out all the hot air before turning on A/C. WHY ???????????
Please do NOT turn on A/C as soon as you enter the car. Continue reading Summertime Blues

I Could Say I'm Tea'd Off…

…but it’s more that I’m just confounded.

Thom Wade has conveniently linked to a couple ads for a guy named Rick Barber, who’s running for Congress in Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District. In the June 1 Republican primary, he got enough votes to force a July 13 runoff. (Expensive runoffs – a good reason for Instant Runoff Voting.)

In the “Gather Your Armies” piece, Barber complains to the “Founding Fathers” that IRS taxation and the health care bill are equivalent to ire they must have felt over the “tea tax” that led to the Boston Tea Party. The tiny difference? It was not the tax, per se, that was the source of the ultimate rebellion; it was that the tax, and other activities, were imposed by the British without colonists’ say-so. The rallying cry wasn’t “no taxation”; it was “no taxation without representation.” Representation such as from the very Congress for which Rick Barber, ironically, is running. Now, if he were living in Washington, DC, he might actually have a point, since the district has no voting member of Congress.

In the “Slavery” video, “Abraham Lincoln” confirms that taxes used to pay people welfare is the same thing as people taken from their homeland, often treated cruelly, and forced to work for no pay. Barber’s video is particularly mortifying because there is still REAL slavery in the world.
Continue reading I Could Say I'm Tea'd Off…

John C. Reilly Would Really Understand Me


I’m watching The Daily Show with Jon Stewart recently, miraculously only a couple days after the show aired. John C. Reilly, who I know best from the movie Chicago, was on, ostensibly to plug his new movie, Cyrus. But it is what he said about music, at about 4:20 of this clip, that really struck me. Seems that when he was a kid, when his mom or dad would say a word or a phrase, he would come up with a song to go along with it. I did/do the same damn thing!

And while we both realized it could be really annoying, it was not done for that purpose. It happened because that’s the way we connect the dots in the world. I was reading a cereal box recently, FCOL, and the first sentence was “Life is complicated.” IMMEDIATELY, I thought, “Why is life SO COM-pli-cated?” That’s a line from which uses the Stevie Wonder-penned song, because I haven’t yet SEEN that yet.
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I wanted to write about the singer Jimmy Dean, but needed an angle, and didn’t find one until I read this article. Of COURSE! The Muppet Rowlf was a regular on the Jimmy Dean Show, sometime during its 1963-1966 run on ABC-TV, which I would occasionally watch. So Dean hired Jim Henson early on. Here’s a dated bit between country singer and dog, a Rowlf ad for the Dean show, and an ad for a Rowlf doll; note the early version of Kermit the Frog.

The other thing about Jimmy Dean is his big hit, Big Bad John, and how near the end, when the line reads, “At the bottom of this mine lies a big, big man.” Yet I always hear something coarser, such as “a helluva man.”

If I ever had his sausage, I have no recollection.
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Crispian St. Peters died, best known for song called Pied Piper. But he also had a minor hit with Evanier gives details of the great artist’s life.

Stevie Wonder is 60


Stevie Wonder is 60 years old today. Only 60? Seems that he’s been around forever. I guess that’s what happens when you’re dubbed the “12-year-old genius.” Wish I had the time to indicate all of his significance in my musical life. Among other things, I’ve stated that he and Paul Simon were THE two most important artists in my record collection in the 1970s. Here are just some highlights.

Really don’t remember the earlier singles, such as “Fingertips, Part 2”, except as an oldie. The first song I recall listened to, on the radio, was Uptight (Everything’s Alright) in 1966. I loved it! Later, I got an album from my sister’s godfather, of all people, of Bill Cosby called Silver Throat, where he sings a parody of Uptight called Little Old Man.

My sister owned the 1966 album Down to Earth, containing the title track and A Place In the Sun, the latter a song written by Stevie that everyone at the time seemed compelled to cover. I owned 1970’s Signed Sealed Delivered.

Possibly my favorite Wonder song in the early years was 1967’s “I Was Made to Love Her”

I owned the so-so 1967 Someday At Christmas, though it contains THE great secular Christmas tune, “What Christmas Means to Me.” Continue reading Stevie Wonder is 60