My sisters and I are on this Binghamton-specific group on Facebook. This woman that I do not know, in response to my sister posting a photo of our father, asked, “Is that Les Green the musician? If it is he worked with us Read the rest of this entry »

During my wife’s recuperation from foot surgery this summer, I had done the vast majority of the laundry. She sorts, I take them down to the basement to wash, I put them in the dryer, and then haul them up so she can fold them.

What I hate is going down the basement stairs. Like many houses of its vintage, nearly a century, the steps are high and the space going down is narrow. It gives me a case of vertigo. Usually, I just toss the basket from the landing to the basement floor, then gather up the clothes. Going up is MUCH easier.

Being unmarried for many years, I got to the point where I didn’t have to wash the clothes for three weeks. That’s because I had at least a couple dozen shirts and sets of undergarments, an amount my wife thought was crazy when we got married. Conversely, I think she has far too few.

Hey, who had a San Diego Padres tee for her school’s sports day? It wasn’t her. I have T-shirts from several movies, from the Coverville music podcast, and from various other occasions, to wear, depending on my mood. Only this year did I buy some solid color (not white) tees.

So I don’t mind running the machines, but doing it every other day or more is boring. In the past, I had gotten used to schlepping clothes to the laundromat. I ran into my friend Alberta recently, and she told me her washing machine died. But instead of buying a new one, she opted to relish the quietude of reading while the laundromat machines chugged along.

This is certainly true of me: it’s difficult to traverse the “mental load” part of household maintenance and the importance of figuring out how to share it.

On Facebook recently, someone said if the washer is on the left and the dryer is right in countries that read left to right, is different in countries where one reads right to left? But almost no one – not us – have a washer on the left. I wish it were so.

For ABC Wednesday

This being the birthdays of both Ray Charles (b. 1930) and Bruce Springsteen (b. 1949), the song We Are the World came to mind. Both singers had significant solos on the track.

Let’s back up. Back in 1983-1985, there was a terrible famine in Ethiopia. In reaction to the television reports, Bob Geldof (Boomtown Rats) and Midge Ure (Ultravox, Thin Lizzy) wrote Do They Know It’s Christmas? in 1984. “It was first recorded in a single day on 25 November 1984 by Band Aid, a supergroup put together by Geldof and Ure and consisting mainly of the biggest British and Irish musical acts at the time.” It was re-recorded three times: in 1989, 2004, and 2014 for various charities.

American singer Harry Belafonte thought that if a bunch of Brits could do this, what could Americans do? Initially thinking of a benefit concert, Belafonte was convinced by “Ken Kragen, who managed an impressive roster of talent, that they could raise more money and make a bigger impact with an original song; Belafonte agreed…”

From Rolling Stone: “‘Check your egos at the door’ read the sign on the front door of A&M Studios in Los Angeles on the night of January 28th, 1985. Producer Quincy Jones had placed it there because dozens of the nation’s biggest singers were walking through that door, and he had exactly one night to cut a record that would save lives by raising money to help alleviate a famine in Ethiopia.

“The result, USA for Africa’s We Are the World, was released… on March 7th, 1985, written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. By all accounts, some people, especially the rockers, didn’t particularly like the song. But it was Springsteen who refused to undermine the process and kept that faction in check.

Here are the lyrics, with indicators of the soloists.

The success of the Band Aid and USA for Africa singles led to benefit concerts such as Live Aid, also in 1985 and the various Farm Aid concerts.

I didn’t buy the single which was #1 for four weeks on the pop charts and two weeks on the soul charts (and #76 on the country charts) and sold four million copies in the US alone. I bought the album, which also sold well, but was lightly regarded.
Listen to:

Do They Know It’s Christmas (1984) here or here

We Are the World here or here (long version)

Queen at Live Aid here

We are the World (2010), for Haiti here

The making of We Are the World here

Here the blogger writes obliquely around what actually happened. The blogger was given some information about himself. He thought some of it was valid, some not, but since he thought it didn’t really matter in the grander scheme of things, he was willing to let it go.

But the funny thing thing is that, in the middle of the night, a couple days later, the blogger’s subconscious recognized that a good portion of the information was BS and needed a response. And in due course, he wrote one.

That ever happen to you?

And the response was about 2000 words in the blogger’s head, but he wrote fewer than 1000. He couldn’t sleep through the night until he had finished it.

I guess you gotta listen to your subconscious.

So I need you now to reach into your personal inner sanctums to Ask Roger Anything. And you may ask truly anything. I promise to respond, generally within a month.

Now I always say that I will answer your questions to the best of my ability, which ebbs and flows. But maybe you’ll hit on something my subconscious wants to unleash, for good or ill. Who knows unless you ask? Obfuscation on my part, while always an option, hasn’t been all that necessary.

You can leave your questions below or on Facebook or Twitter; for the latter, my name is ersie. Always look for the duck. If you prefer to remain anonymous, that’s fine, but you need to SAY so; you should e-mail me at rogerogreen (AT) gmail (DOT) com, or send me an IM on FB and note that you want to remain unmentioned; otherwise, I’ll assume you want to be cited.

Considering I’ve read almost nothing of the writings of Stephen King, and and have watched relatively few of the films based on his work, I nevertheless enjoy his observations about the world.

The first movie I ever saw based on a book of his was The Shining (1980), which I pretty much hated. And it’s because of what happens early on, when the Jack Nicholson character looks crazy pretty much as soon as he’s gotten the keys to the hotel. So the wave of blood in the hall isn’t even scary, it’s comical.

Stand by Me (1986), based on his novella The Body, I loved; a great coming-of-age story. Misery (1990) I Liked a lot, surprisingly given the sudden violence. The Green Mile (1999) I had some problems with, but enjoyed well enough.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994), based on the short story Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, is one of my favorite films, and that’s true for a lot of people. The fact it was a commercial dud before finding its audience somehow makes the movie more satisfying.

That’s it, out of over 200 writing credits. I saw a little of the remake of The Shining (1997), but not enough to count.

I’ve read various comic book adaptations of the work of Stephen King. None was rendered better than Creepshow by the late Berni Wrightson.

The ONLY book of his I ever read cover to cover was 11-22-63, and I read it in less than a month. I know this because I took the then-newish, 800+ page tome out on a 14-day checkout, and I renewed it only once. But I was not interested enough to watch the 2016 miniseries.

Still, I’m interested in what he thinks on a variety of topics. If I were to read another of his books, it would probably be On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. Here are some nifty quotes from the book. Possibly my favorite: “If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing, I suppose), someone will try to make you feel lousy about it.”

He also has some things to say about politics which I must admit dovetail with my worldview.

Happy birthday to the King of Horror.

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