Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Three Word Wednesday - Glimmer, Passion, Wish - 12/31/08

I haven't played Three Word Wednesday for a long time. The words haven't inspired me. They didn't this time either, but I thought I should write something before the year ends tonight. I have been very lazy, which is my homeostatic condition, but have been encouraged by others to write. This is for you. You know who you are.

I am spending the holidays caring for my 4 year-old grandson, Carson. His school is closed and my daughter, Carly, has to work. I don’t care how demanding or difficult you think your job is, it is a piece of cake compared to that of a single mother.

I don’t mean a single mom that has grandma next door to provide assistance or an extended family of aunts and uncles nearby. I am talking about a single mother who’s support system (what little there is) is located several interstates away.

If I had a wish, it would be for Carly to have an easier life, but that is not the case. So, even though I am not much of a nurturer, I volunteered for a couple of weeks of childcare. If I had to submit a resume for this position, I would not have had a glimmer of hope for an interview. But Carly was desperate, so Skooter and I loaded up and drove the 200 miles to spend a couple of weeks with Carson.

Most kids have more than one set of grandparents, so that they have to develop names to distinguish each: gramps, grampy, granddad, pawpaw, etc. This is particularly true, here, in the south. I have a friend that’s husband is called “Big” by his grandsons. I am glad not to have that moniker. That is very “Cat On a Hot Tin Roofy”. That is not the case with Carson. I am the only one he has. His sperm-donor (biological father) and his family are not in the picture. He elected absence over multiple ass-kickings administered by the three Wainright men. This prick is another story altogether.
Carson and I are somewhat similar. We are both only children, which results in developing a great imagination, independence, and self-reliance, but very little social skills and cooperation. We are both loose cannons. Carson attends a special school that tries to funnel his bright mind into activities that do not endanger others. He has been labeled as having behavioral issues. Had there been such a school when I was four, I am certain I would have been valedictorian. He is a carbon copy of his uncle Josh, who owns his own very successful company, is happily married, and drives a BMW. Had this type of diagnosis been available when he was four, he would have been sedated for much of his youth.

I mention that Carson and I are alike to illustrate that we probably butted heads during our confinement together. We are both very stubborn. I have kept him before, but it was summer in Myrtle Beach. There were so many activities to keep us occupied that there was little downtime for us to actually have to communicate and co-exist in a normal environment. However, this time it is winter in Clemmons, North Carolina. You have not heard of it. There is a reason. So, we had no beach, no amusement park, and no boats to watch. It was just him and me, sometimes him or me.
This visit contained the obligatory trip to Chuckee Freaking Cheese. There we met up with my son Rick and my beautiful granddaughter Maris. Luckily Maris is afraid of Chuckee (as am I) and we didn't stay very long.

Carson behaves pretty well when it is just the two of us. He harbors a bit of fear of grandpa, which is not a bad thing. While his mother is new age: time out, time away, and such. She tends to give in, while, as I mentioned, grandpa is a match for Carson at being stubborn. Grandpa is old school. Grandpa will spank your butt if it needs it. To Carson, Grandpa is a huge man with a baritone voice. (Carson once told a classmate that his grandpa is a giant) All he normally hears is his mother’s alto. When grandpa bellows, Carson takes notice. Carson is also not totally certain that someday grandpa won’t totally lose it and put him in a wood chipper. Grandpa might have let it slip that he once did hard time in Wyoming for just such a thing. A little fear is a good thing.

But, because Carson and grandpa are so much alike, they have a common passion for music and movies. Carson loves to listen to classic rock. He is a big fan of AC/DC and Joan Jett. I am sure that the counselors at his school would not approve. So we go for rides and listen to grandpa’s music. I respect Carly’s wishes that Carson not be allowed to watch anything on television or movies that contain bad language or any adult situation. As a result, I have viewed more children’s programming than any other man since Fred Rogers. I know most of the songs from Barney, Scooby-Doo, and the Wiggles. I fear that some of it is stuck in my head forever.

As you can see by some of the photos, Carson is a bit of a daredevil. That is where we differ significantly. The most dangerous thing I do these days is fry bacon without a shirt on.

Carson is also very fond of Skooter. Skooter does not totally share that affection, or at least not admit to it. Skooter is a gentle soul except where Carson is concerned. Carson flits around a bit too fast for Skooter's taste. Then when I tell him to move slower, he goes into creepy, zombie, slow, which drives Skooter even more insane. Skooter is very comfortable with Carson when he is asleep (as we all are).

But when awake and active, Skooter loves to chase Carson throughout the apartment, barking and snarling at him, much as he does a squirrel or rabbit. Of course, Carson loves the attention and constantly antagonizes Skooter. As a result, my day is filled with the bay of an energized Beagle and the maniacal laughter of a child. I will miss that when we go home tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - My Favorite Holiday Music - 12/25/08

At the risk of being predictable, my Thursday 13 this week is some of my favorite Holiday songs. Some are traditional, some will surprise you. Turn up your volume and have a listen to my Holiday jukebox. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Wordless Wednesday -Merry Christmas - 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to both of my loyal readers.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - 13 Brian Regan Clips - 12/18/08

Thursday thirteen – 13 clips of Brian Regan – The world’s funniest clean comedian. Comedy is nearly as important in my life as music. There are many comedians that I enjoy but most are too profane for this forum and my readership. However, one of my favorites is squeaky clean, original, and brilliant. If you have never seen him, take a few minutes and watch his genius. Even if you are familiar with him, there may be some bits here you haven’t seen. I have tried to combine some of his older stuff with the new. You will need to pause my music playlist, but it will be worth it.

Wordless Wednesday - 12/17/08

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday Scribblings - "I knew instantly....." - 12/14/08

I knew instantly what I had to write about this week. Last Christmas I related the sadness that comes to me with the Holidays.
You can read that post
here as most of my readers haven't been with me that long.
Once again, this year, I am compelled to give to those less fortunate. I am not in a great financial situation, but every time I want to feel sorry for myself I come across something that pushes reality right between my eyes. I had already completed my annual obligatory Angel Tree donation. It always gives me great pleasure to imagine a child experiencing Christmas joy due to my modest efforts.

I was grocery shopping at Piggly Wiggly (for the majority of you who have no idea what the hell that is, it is a supermarket chain, primarily in the south).
As I was checking out I noticed an Angel Tree. I had to investigate, as there were still a few dollars remaining in my checking account. It was an Angel Tree for senior citizens in nursing homes. I was intrigued by that concept. I have always thought of needy children at Christmastime, but the image of an elderly person alone and forgotten was particularly hurtful to me. But what broke my heart was the list of items the participants were asking for: toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, deodorant, denture adhesive, writing paper and pens, and hand lotion. I always considered Christmas presents as whimsical and fun. I could not imagine being at a place in my life where I felt toothpaste and soap and other necessities of life were considered treats. I shuddered to think of my situation being such that I had to depend on a stranger’s kindness to prevent my dentures from becoming airborne during lunch. No, I don't wear dentures. But if I did, I would prefer they be affixed. At least in public settings.

Well, as you can imagine, I removed several requests from the tree and tomorrow I will be going to Costco. Some geezers are getting a six-pack of toothbrushes and a demijohn of liquid hand soap. I wonder if anyone from my previous Thursday 13 post could use some Polygrip. Maybe Borgnine.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - People I Didn't Know Were Still Alive - 12/11/08

Thirteen People I didn’t know were still alive:

Zsa Zsa Gabor-The Paris Hilton of her generation. Famous for no reason.

John Forsythe

Kirk Douglas

Karl Malden

Betty Ford

Billy Graham

Ernest Borgnine

Jack Klugman

Elizabeth Taylor

Oral Roberts

Gore Vidal

Abe Vigoda

Jerry Lewis

All these folks had vital signs when I posted this. I hope I did not jinx any of them. Who knows when Betty Ford will "check out". Or Abe Vigoda will swim with the "Fishes". Billy Graham could go to his heavenly reward (not so fast Oral Roberts). Jack Klugman could "couple" with Tony Randal. John Forsythe might join the "angels". Borgnine might "ship" out.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - Things That Piss Me Off at the Post Office - 12/4/08

It is now, officially, the Christmas mailing season. Though I normally use the automatic postal centers so I don’t have to deal with lines or clerks, sometimes our APS is out of order or I need a service that it is not programmed for. I would love to use the online post office, but unfortunately it has the same limitations as the APS. So, this week I am going to list thirteen things that piss me off when I am forced to visit the post office. There are many more than thirteen, but this week I am exercising self-control. Now, I am a very tolerant person. My son even calls me "Captain Patience." But sometimes.......

1. Let’s start with the parking lot. All the basic rules of driving, good sense, and judgment are abandoned in the Post Office parking lot. All bets are off and it is every man for himself. Directional arrows become open for interpretation. Total chaos ensues.

2. People that give a crap what kind of commemorative stamp they buy to pay their utility bills with. They have to look at all the choices in the drawer while the rest of us wait. I would use any stamp I could acquire. If I found one on the floor that wasn’t canceled it would be on the envelope in a heartbeat. I would not lick it, but I would get moisture on it somehow. I don’t care if my stamp has Mowgli or Hanukkah on it. But I do draw the line at EID. They can kiss my ass. And they certainly shouldn't get a commemorative stamp. We are so politically correct that we even give people that bomb us a freaking stamp.

3. People who don’t even have their shit boxed up before they get to the window. They expect the clerk to provide tape, zip codes, and assistance while the rest of us wait.

4. People who wait for the Christmas rush to apply for a passport, open a mailbox, or ask ridiculous questions while the rest of us wait.

5. People who are too busy using their cell phone to complete the transaction at the window while the rest of us wait.

6. People that ask the clerk a question, receive an answer, and then want to argue; while the rest of us wait. The clerk did not make the rules. In fact, the rules are posted all over the Post Office. Perhaps you could have taken the time to read them during your forty-five minutes in line. I think the theory is that they waited forty-five minutes to get to the window, they are going to take advantage of it and get answers to every postal query they have ever had. Just as it appears they are going to walk away, they pull a Columbo, and ask just one more question.

7. People who don’t bother to bathe or apply deodorant prior to a visit to the post office. Nothing adds to the pleasure of a forty-five minute wait more than spending it next to a person that smells like feet and ass. Maybe they are wearing cologne, but it was purchased at a sporting goods store and was designed to attract rutting deer.

8. People that choose this time to socialize with me. It is never the pretty girl in line. It is usually the B.O. person (see #7). I enjoy idle chitchat, but they are usually all too happy to reveal personal details about themselves, including failing body parts and functions.

9. I realize the United States Postal Service is in financial trouble and are trying to market itself, but I am so tired of having the clerk recite a litany of extra services to me each time I mail a package. Do you want insurance, express mail, proof of delivery, delivery confirmation, Mowgli stamps, mailing supplies, etc? Actually, if I wanted any of those things I would have asked for them. What I want you to do is get this package to Tupelo, Mississippi sometime prior to my demise. I would prefer my package to endure the minimum number of kicks and throws available. Do you have a service for that? Actually, let me see all the stamps you have on hand. While the rest of them wait. Credit or debit? Would you like money back? Hell yes, I would like money back, but since there is none in my account, I don't think that is gonna happen.

10. People that arrive at the window with no working knowledge of English at all. They attempt to communicate their needs to the clerk with a series of hand gestures, clicks, and grunts while attempting to mail a television set to Belarus in a laundry hamper while the rest of us wait. Once the transaction is figured out, they have no concept of our currency and attempt to pay with currency that includes a coin with a whole in it.

11. People that are oblivious to the line that has wrapped around the building and walk right up to the clerk to ask a question while the rest of us wait.

12. People that wait until they get in line to write the letter or check that they are putting into the envelope that is not yet addressed. They do not move up when the line advances but if you attempt to go around them, they feel they have been violated and get all pissy. The one working pen (of course they did not think to bring one of their own) is chained to a position that does not allow them to progress. As a result, they totally violate the sanctity of the line while the rest of us wait.

13. People that seem to be amazed and surprised that there is a line during the holiday mailing season and find it necessary to grumble about it the entire time they are in line. They enter the Post Office already pissed off and their discontent elevates and branches out to include every government agency they can think of. I would love to offer them my advanced position next to B.O. person (see #7), but someone would go postal on me for allowing cuts.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - "Tragic" - 12/3/08

A young woman of 17 was involved in an accident in my neighborhood and passed away on Sunday. Her name was Cassady Rose Jones-French. I did not know her, but that does not make it any less tragic. I was touched by the tribute paid to her on the side of our lane where the accident occurred.
Find out more about her here Cassady. She obviously was loved by many. No one is supposed to outlive their children. My sympathy goes out to those left behind.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - Turn Up The Volume - 11/27/08

There exists certain music that as soon as I hear the opening riff I immediately, and involuntarily, reach for the volume control of whatever device I am listening to, and crank it up. This compilation is certainly not comprehensive, just the first tunes that came to mind. Sorry, but I was totally unable to limit this list to thirteen. Those of you that are fans of classic rock will understand why. I did keep it down to 125 though. They are in no particular order. The entire list is available here for your listening pleasure. Turn it up and enjoy. I invite reader comments and suggestions of songs I might have overlooked. You can hear the songs here.

1• Bad To The Bone — George Thorogood
2• Badge — Cream
3• Funk #49 — James Gang
4• All Right Now — Free
5• Sweet Home Alabama — Lynyrd Skynyrd
6• Whole Lotta Love — Led Zeppelin
7• Smoke on the Water — Deep Purple
8• Foxy Lady — Jimi Hendrix
9• Won't Get Fooled Again — Who
10• Paranoid — Black Sabbath
11• Money For Nothing — Dire Straits
12• satisfaction — stones
13• Born To Be Wild — Steppenwolf
14• Strange Brew — Cream
15• Brown Sugar — Rolling Stones
16• Money — Pink Floyd
17• All Day and All of the Night — Kinks
18• Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting — Elton John
19• fire — jimmy hendrix
20• Rock & Roll Fantasy — Bad Company
21• Centerfold — J. Geils Band
22• We're An American Band — Grand Funk Railroad
23• Frankenstein — Edgar Winter
24• Life In The Fast Lane — The Eagles
25• Running With the Devil — Van Halen
26• Born On The Bayou — Creedence Clearwater Revival
27• Crossroads — Cream
28• Honky Tonk Woman — Rolling Stones
29• Sunshine Of Your Love — Cream
30• Shine — Collective Soul
31• Purple Haze — Jimi Hendrix
32• I Want You To Want Me — Cheap Trick
33• Radar Love — Golden Earring
34• Just What I Needed — Cars
35• No Matter What — Badfinger
36• Sharp Dressed Man — ZZ Top
37• Can't Get Enough — Bad Company
38• Pride And Joy — Stevie Ray Vaughan
39• Pinball Wizard — The Who
40• Free Ride — The Edgar Winter Group
41• Eruption — Van Halen
42• Taking Care Of Business — BTO
43• Hotel California — Eagles
44• Bat Out Of Hell — Meatloaf
45• White Room — Cream
46• Revolution — The Beatles
47• La Grange — ZZ Top
48• Cinnamon Girl — Neil Young
49• Long Train Running — Doobie Brothers
50• China Grove — The Doobie Brothers
51• I Love Rock & Roll — Joan Jett
52• Sweet Child O' Mine — Guns N' Roses
53• Smells Like Teen Spirit — Nirvana
54• Paint It, Black — Rolling Stones
55• Back In Black — AC, DC
56• Johnny B. Good — Chuck Berry
57• You Really Got Me — Kinks
58• Pretty Woman — Roy Orbison
59• Bad Moon Rising — Ccr
60• Ramblin' Man — Allman Brothers
61• maryjane's last dance — tom petty
62• (Don`t Fear) the Reaper — Blue Oyster Cult
63• Stay or Should I go — Clash
64• Crazy On You — Heart
65• Black Magic Woman — Santana
66• School's Out — Alice Cooper
67• Walk This Way — Aerosmith
68• Day Tripper — The Beatles
69• My Generation — The Who
70• Wild Thing — The Troggs
71• You Shook Me All Night Long — AC
72• Enter Sandman — Metallica
73• More Than A Feeling — Boston
74• Blitzkrieg Bop — The Ramones
75• Bo Diddley — Bo Diddley
76• Not Fade Away — Buddy Holly
77• Reeling In The Years — Steely Dan
78• While My Guitar Gently Weeps — The Beatles
79• Surrender — Cheap Trick
80• 012 - The Who - Baba O'Riley — The Who
81• No Time — The Guess Who
82• Voodoo Child — Jimi Hendrix
83• Heartbreaker — Led Zeppelin
84• Roadhouse Blues — Doors
85• Kashmir — Led Zeppelin
86• Up Around The Bend — Creedence Clearwater Revival
87• "Born To Run" — Bruce Springsteen
88• Taxman — Beatles
89• Highway To Hell — AC, DC
90• Rock And Roll — Led Zeppelin
91• Cocaine — Eric Clapton
93• Barracuda — Heart
94• Dream On — Aerosmith
95• Locomotive Breath — Jethro Tull
96• Magic Carpet Ride — Steppenwolf
97• Free Bird — Lynyrd Skynyrd
98• Tom Sawyer — Rush
99• The Chain — Fleetwood Mac
100• Breakdown — Tom Petty
101• For What It's Worth — Buffalo Springfield
102• Gimme Shelter — Rolling Stones
103• I Feel Fine — Beatles
104• Fortunate Son — Ccr
105• Feel Like Making Love — Bad Company
106• Over The Hills & Far Away — Led Zeppelin
107• The Logical Song — Supertramp
108• Do It Again — Steely Dan
109• Already Gone — The Eagles
110• Life's Been Good — Joe Walsh
111• Refugee — Tom Petty
112• Ramble On — Led Zeppelin
113• I'd Love To Change The World — Ten Years After
114• You Can't Always Get What you Want — Rolling Stones
115• Love Me Two Times — Doors
116• L.A. Woman — Doors
117• Layla — Derek & Dominos
118• Iron Man — Black Sabbath
119• Jumping Jack Flash — Rolling Stones
120• Light My Fire - Doors
121• Hold Your Head Up - Argent
122• Summertime Blues - Eddie Cochrane
123• Get It On - TRex
124• Crazy Train - Ozzie
125• Unchained - Van Halen
126• Space Truckin' - Deep Purple

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sunday Scribblings - "Grateful" - 11/23/08

It is fitting that this week’s prompt should be “grateful”. The timing is amazing and there is only one way I can go with this.

A few days ago, I responded to a good friend of mine, Raymond Pert (pseudonym), who had written a blog about the Grateful Dead. You can see it here RP . My comment was: Q: “What did the Deadhead say when he ran out of drugs? A: “This Music Sucks”. This joke led to a short email discussion about the Grateful Dead. RP, like millions of others, hold this music in high esteem.

Though we are roughly the same age, from the same background, we have very different takes on this music. RP appreciates it and has enjoyed attending concerts. I attended one concert and have never been so bored. I would have rather attended a three hour life insurance seminar. In three hours, I think they played two songs. At least I thought there was a short break where the tempo changed slightly, and Jerry Garcia went to a different chord. I missed the first half hour because I thought they were tuning up. I did not realize that was a song. But, the faithful were mesmerized by this music, little better than your neighborhood garage band produces. Their music is benign enough, just not memorable. You are listening to it now. Can you imagine three hours of this? This song reminds me of cranking an old-time jackinthebox.

Plink, plink, plink. But it won't pop. It just goes on and on. If the drying of paint were to make a sound, this would surely be it.

I swear that the great unwashed that I was forced to rub shoulders with were
the same demographic that go to every NASCAR race and camp out in the infield.

The major difference is the Dead crowd ingests massive amounts of chemicals and herbs, while the NASCAR fan uses beer and Jack Daniels to make these events tolerable.

It has been about thirty years, and I think I finally feel safe taking a drug test. I have nearly gotten the stench of patchouli out of my pores. Three hours of dodging vomit and my Grateful Dead concert experience was gratefully over.

I love music and have very eclectic tastes (as you can see by my song list). But I tend to be drawn to lyric, melody, and killer guitar rifts. Hypnotic repetition has never attracted me. I realize the Grateful Dead had, and continue to have, millions of disciples. Curiously, these fans didn’t buy their records. Their number one album: Skeletons in the Closet: The Best of the Grateful Dead took six years to go gold. Fans must have been spending their money on hallucinogens. Maybe it is the cheery album covers that limit sales.

My friend, RP, enjoys their music without the help of chemicals. God Bless Him. If you are a Grateful Dead fan, there is no way you can defend the music to me, nor should you need to. We all like what we like. I am just providing one man’s opinion. Hey, I like Eminem. But I would not attend one of his concerts either. Someone might bust a cap.