Archive for March, 2017

This Article Won’t Change Your Mind – “The facts on why facts alone can’t fight false beliefs.”

To End Hate, We Gotta Walk the Talk – Aristotle on Why Professing Liberal Values is Nowhere Near Enough

Door-Busting Drug Raids Leave a Trail of Blood and When a no-knock drug raid ends in death, is it capital murder or self-defense? Two cases in Texas took different paths

This Is How Your Hyperpartisan Political News Gets Made

Meet The Homeless Man Who Stopped Thousands Of People Becoming HIV-Positive

Is America’s Military Big Enough?

Amazing Disgrace: How did a thrice-married, Biblically illiterate sexual predator—hijack the religious right?

When He Is Ignorant of His Own Ignorance

Elmo From ‘Sesame Street’ Learns He’s Fired Because Of Budget Cuts

“PrOtEsT” – Poet Activists Throughout the Years

How the Choctaws Saved the Irish

Waiter fired after asking Latinas for ‘proof of residency’ at upscale Huntington Beach eatery

War On The Moon

In the Congressional Fight Over Slavery, Decorum Went Out the Door

Scott Pelley is pulling no punches on the nightly news

For 15 Years, New Orleans Was Divided Into Three Separate Cities

This is what happens to your body when you stop having sex

7 Tips to Get Someone with Alzheimer’s to Take a Bath

First-year residents shadow nurses in effort to better understand, foster future communication

List of inventors killed by their own inventions

Lack of Oxford Comma Could Cost Maine Company Millions in Overtime Dispute

Sweden is tackling its throwaway culture

Six Bad Ass Librarians from Pop Culture

The True Story of the Backward Index

Ask A Cartoonist: Women Who Inspire

Rest in peace, Chuck Barris

Rules for the Black Birdwatcher – With Drew Lanham and Extreme Birdwatching

The 21 most spectacular theaters in the U.S.

Vitiligo As Body Art

Troy native making movie about his hitchhiking adventure – Don Rittner

How Jaquandor made Gluten-Free Fried Chicken

Amtrak snow-motion

A STREET CAR NA_ED DESIRE

Now I Know: The Haircut that Went to War (Maybe) and What They Did Not See and Why People Originally Didn’t “Like” Cigarettes and The Invisible Wall Around Most of Manhattan and The Masterpiece Hidden in Plain Sight

Music

Before and After Chuck Berry and 15 great covers of Chuck Berry classics

Makeba – Jain

Bohemian Rhapsody Played by 100+-year-old fairground organ

10 Female Jazz Musicians You Need To Know

K-Chuck Radio: Feeling kinda “horny”

A New Thelonious Monk Album Emerges From the Soundtrack to a Classic French Film

Godsmack Play A Cover Of ‘Come Together’

Paul McCartney’s “Ram” Reconsidered

Lightning Strikes – Klaus Nomi (1981)

Understanding Deal Breakers: The Psychology of Music and Romance

I was reminded that back in the early 1970s, the student government at the State University College of New York at New Paltz put on a bunch of concerts, many of which I attended. But I remember reading about one in the Fall of 1971 by some group I had never heard of. The show cost only 50 cents, but I passed.

That group was America, whose A Horse With No Name went to #1 the very next year. In penance, I bought that first album and played it regularly. They’d later have hits such as Ventura Highway, Tin Man, and Lonely People, which I wrote about here.

In 1995, my girlfriend at the time, Carol – now my wife – and I were meeting my old (as in since kindergarten ) friend Karen and this guy from a local (Albany area) radio station named Johnny. As it turned out, Carol and Johnny were acquainted because they’d lived in the same area. After dinner, Karen and the radio guy invited Carol and me to see this musical act which I had never heard of. I might have gone, but Carol was tired so we opted out.

The artist turned out to be Moby, a descendant of Herman Melville, BTW, who had a massively successful album at the end of the decade called Play. What put me in mind about this story was Pantheon Songs’ tribute to a Moby tune that had come out a few years before that dinner, but I had not heard at the time.

John Green (no relation), one of the vlog brothers, recently noted that he wanted to go on an information diet. Specifically, he would spend far less time on Twitter. He noted this because it was this platform that helped him and his brother Hank to be more visible.

He said he was pulling away from it because it made him less pleasant as a human being. I certainly understand that feeling.

Quite often I read on Facebook about people quitting Facebook. I’m fine with that, although I wish people would do it more frequently, and announce it less often. I get the sense that the social media platform is so addictive to some, then they get annoyed by some response, or non-response, but then get sucked back in.

One guy in particular was complaining that “everybody” was talking about Lord Dampnut instead of talking about art, or the like. Maybe it was because the federal budget was going to zero out the budget for the arts?

Another fellow objected to me referring to Donnie as Orange, suggesting that I was judging him by the color of his skin rather than the content of his character. Having MLK Jr quoted to me is kind of funny. But, of course, this guy was just sealioning me.

And I felt compelled to correct a number of people who followed some meme that said it was Barack Obama’s birthday in March, which is actually August 4.

One fellow I know personally who actually gave up Facebook seems much happier. Another seemed satiated writing his observations to a select audience, instead of dealing with a lot of bs.
***
On a podcast, someone mentioned musical groups with two people with the same first name, preferably founding or significant members. So Mick Jagger ad Mick Taylor of the Rolling Stones I wouldn’t necessarily count.

John Flansburgh and John Linnell of They Might Be Giants, for sure. The 2 Melanies in Spice Girls, Ronnie Lane and Ronnie Wood in the Faces. Also, Wings had a couple guys named Denny, Seiwell and Laine. Who else?
***
I decided to record this new TV legal drama called Doubt, starring Katherine Heigl and Laverne Cox. But it took me a while to get to watch it. As it turned out, it was cancelled after only two episodes. I thought it had potential, but obviously CBS did not.
***
Someone asked me, “Biweekly – Did you know this word means once every two weeks AND twice a week? How confusing!” Yes, I did. I noted that I used to sell comic books, and I needed to know which meaning the publishers were using; fortunately, it was the former.
***
There was a gender-neutral pronoun in 1934, thon, and there were people pushing for it but it failed. Still, it’s the second definition of thon in the Urban Dictionary.

Delaware Avenue: Recalling the Early Days slideshow originally produced in the 1980s by Louise Krasniewicz for Albany Public Library and digitized in 2014 for APL’s digital collection on New York Heritage (nyheritage.org).

Each month, when there’s a birthday in our office at work, someone, usually the boss, will ask, “What did you do on your birthday?” I thought I’d write it down while I can still remember.

My bride and I got up and had breakfast at a sandwich shop nearby. We might have opted for a more leisurely locale except that: 1) she had to report for jury duty and 2) I had a massage scheduled, and they’ve moved to a place I wasn’t exactly sure of. But find it I did, and it was especially needed.

I walked home, read some newspapers, watched a little TV, notably CBS Sunday Morning, which I never watch actually on the Sabbath, when The Wife came home around noon. Apparently, the court impaneled enough people before they even got into the courtroom.

I went to the library for an hour to blog. For some reason, I find that the most efficient venue to write, in a public setting, near the guy making wheezing noises, and the guy with the peculiar laugh.

The three of us went out to dinner at a family-style restaurant recommended by a bus driver I know. It had been opened since 1996, and I must have passed it dozens of times, but I had never even heard of it. It was good food, though, interestingly, the chicken parm was better as leftovers.

When we got home, PRESENTS! This included Odetta singing Dylan from the 1960s, though the CD version was released around the turn of the millennium. I also received March Book 2, the last of the trilogy penned by Georgia Congressman John Lewis that I received. I got Book 3 as a review copy and Book 1 for Christmas.

Oh, Jaquandor wrote a blog post in my honor!

The following Saturday, I held my annual hearts card game. It’s useful to do this in part because it forces us to clean the house more thoroughly. We talked a lot, ate a lot, and even played cards; I even won one, and by “shooting the moon”, taking all the points, on the last hand.

To paraphrase some song, a splendid time was guaranteed for all.

In anticipation of what turned out to the only snow day I’ve ever had from work, I went to the library and took out seven DVDs. The Wife, the Daughter and I voted on the picks, and Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day was the consensus.

My spouse was surprised that I didn’t select the film higher since it features Amy Adams, who she seems to think I have a bit of a crush on. (Well, maybe…)

From the IMDB:
Guinevere Pettigrew [Frances McDormand], a middle-aged London governess [in 1939 London], finds herself unfairly dismissed from her job [without severance pay]. An attempt to gain new employment catapults her into the glamorous world and dizzying social whirl of an American actress and singer, Delysia Lafosse [Adams].

Miss Pettigrew was initially aghast with the actress’s lifestyle and many suitors, but soon she becomes indispensable in helping her get out of jams. Moreover, they discover a commonality.

It’s an OK, likable, not great but not awful movie, yer basic 2 and a half stars out of 4. I enjoyed seeing Lee Pace, who was the star of a 22 episode TV show I watched called Pushing Daisies from 2007-2009.

What was more interesting was watching the deleted scenes and recognizing why that shot was trimmed – the elevator scene originally was WAY too long. Oddly, though, there’s a scene totally removed and I think it was a mistake. It involved Miss Pettigrew sneaking into the cinema and watching a scene from a film before being tossed out. Not only did that explain how she could fake it in Delysia’s circles, it also explains line Miss Pettigrew delivers, which sees to come out of nowhere in the finished product.

The other interesting extra was learning how the book was optioned three times to be a movie, once shortly after Winifred Watson’s novel was published in 1938, once in the 1950s, and again in the 2000s, with Miss Watson getting paid each time. Perhaps she was the real survivor like Miss Pettigrew.

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