The Things I Do for Kelly Brown Meme

By request of the self-described Mrs. Lefty.

So, here’s how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that’s playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don’t lie and try to pretend your cool…
7. When you’re finished tag some other people to do it!

OK, this is my iTunes thing, heavy on some mixed CDs I tried to make.

Opening credits: Why Did You Leave-the Heptones
Waking up: Loving Dub II-Burning Spear (OK)
First day of school: Elvis Presley Boulevard-Billy Joel
Falling in love: Incense and Peppermints-Strawberry Alarm Clock (this would only work if I had come of age in the 1960s – wait I DID come of age in the 1960s)
First song: Graceland-Willie Nelson
Breaking up: Neutron Dance-Pointer Sisters (must have been a necessary breakup)
Prom: The Twelve Gifts of Christmas-Allan Sherman (!)
Life: The Bells of Christmas-Julie Andrews
Mental Breakdown: Winter Snow-Booker T. and the MGs (this is a lovely song-must have been a gentle breakdown)
Driving: Big Big Love-k.d. lang (this works)
Flashback:’Til I Die-Beach Boys (has a certain dreamy quality)
Getting back together: Where Did You Sleep Last Night-Nirvana (I don’t THINK so)
Wedding: What They World Needs Now/Abraham, Martin & John-Tom Clay (yikes!)
Birth of Child: Long Time Gone-CPR (song about the death of RFK – ain’t THAT swell)
Final Battle: The Simpsons’ End Theme-JFK
Death Scene: 1985-Bowling for Soup
Funeral song: Death is Not the End-Nick Cave
End Credits: Lee Harvey Was A Friend of Mine-Laura Cantrell

Some of these are just BIZARRE (getting back together, wedding, birth of child), while a couple are actually dead on (final battle, funeral song).

Nope, I ain’t tagging nobody.
Maybe it’s my demographic, but I’ve never known anyone who I know personally who has posted on YouTube. Until now. Read this high-pressured sales pitch:
“I decided to go public with “The Scary Sock” and post it on You Tube. I figured “What the hell!” It’s certainly no worse than much of the stuff out there. If you want to see it again (with sound!), one can find it here.” (30 seconds)
Coolness test.

I’m in a John K. State of Mind

When I was in high school at Binghamton Central, I was president of the student government in 1970. The radio and/or TV station WNBF got the student government heads from around the area to get together maybe six times a year to “rap”; that meant to talk, in those days. The guy from Johnson City HS was this long-haired freak named John. We really hit it off, and from time to time ended up at demonstrations together, at least one antiwar event which involved us running from tear gas. It was…fun, actually.

We lost track, and then I heard that he died a few years later, which was sad. But then I ran into him, which was just plain freaky. Seems that he WAS at death’s door, technically dead, but then was revived. Not only that, he was going out with an old girlfriend of mine. They got married; I attended the ceremony. We had some good times, and some not so good times together. Eventually, John and my ex split up. To be reductivist about it, he was largely at fault. He moved out of state – to Florida, I believe – and I lost track of him again.

Then I get an e-mail the other day from my ex-girlfriend, with whom I’ve maintained a friendship. There was an obit in the local (Binghamton) paper. John K. really was dead. He’d been living in Washington state, had gotten remarried, and was, in the flowery prose of obituaries – “a man of varied interests with a profound zest for life” – happy. He was 54. I don’t know what he died from – yes, I’m extremely curious, and more than a bit unsettled.

Actually, I think it’s a combination of things:

The depature of John Flynn from the Capital District YMCA, heading for Pennsylvania. I haven’t seen him much recently, but when I was on ther local (Albany) board for nine years in thwe late 1980s and early 1990s, I saw him quite a bit. The idea of regionalism is so hard to pull off around here, and John helped pull it off.

The departure of Albany Public Library head Jeff Cannell, heading for a post in the State Department of Education. Since I’m the VP of the Friends of the APL, I got to see Jeff a fair amount. I liked him, a refreshing change after his autocratic predecessor.

Then there was the passing of fellow church member John Scott, and the effect I know that must have on his family – the funeral was last Saturday.

Plus the death of my favorite Celtic, DJ at the age of 52 of cardiac arrest last week, has me in a bit of a mood, shall we say.
Bob Woodruff, the former ABC News anchor who was almost killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq last year, has a special on tonight (10 ET on ABC) and also will be on Oprah and Good Morning America today. His wife Lee, who used to attend the church to which I now belong, will also be on all of these programs.
Silliness tomorrow.

The Lydster, Part 35: Free to Be Me

When I started this blog, and specifically when I started writing about my daughter in this blog, I had planned to write more about how she was affecting me, rather than just about her. I may have fallen away from that. Here’s a slight return to form.

One of the things I know is true about me, with her, is that I have, apparently, no inhibitions when it comes to caring for her. We all went to church last Sunday morning – me, Carol, Lydia and her doll, which is named Baby. We all had nametags on, including Baby. Lydia wanted me to hold Baby for a while, as we stood in the communion circle, so I did so. The little girl across the way thought this was mighty funny, apparently; a grown man with a doll with a nametag during communion (no, Baby did not partake).

I remember when Lydia was five or six months old, and she was doing SOMETHING to make me crazy. I was so upset with her that I plopped her in the middle of the living room floor; Daddy needed a timeout. I’m sure she’ll make me crazy again, but I find that I’m a lot more patient with her now, even as she does stuff that would have driven me crazy a couple years earlier. She’s afraid of the monsters in her room, reportedly a typical childhood phase. Her mother and I just drive them from the room, but the going-to-bed process seems to have lengthened considerably in the last month. (I wonder if this is post-surgical trauma for Lydia.) Anyway, I’m more tired – again, and I had been doing so well – but it doesn’t annoy me. Concern, a little bit.

Anyway, she gives me lots of goodies to make it all worthwhile. Happy 2 11/12, Lydia!

Myths, Hoaxes, and Misinformation

So what IS that holiday we just celebrated on the third Monday in February? Presidents Day? Presidents’ Day? President’s Day? The answer, technically, is none of the above.
From an-e-mail, which cites Tom Joyner’s Morning Show as the source of information about NUD (Non Urban Dictate), “the acronym for a very subtle and little-known marketing term specifically directed toward people of color. ‘Non Urban Dictate’ – These three words essentially mean that a company is not interested in the Black consumer. A NUD label means that a company does not want their marketing and advertising materials placed in media that claim an urban audience (black folks) as their main target.

My reply: I doubt it. I could find no mention on Tom Joyner’s website and this company has to waste its time refuting its involvement with the claim. This group,, busts the myth:
“BreakTheChain.or recommends against participating in boycott campaigns organized via e-mail chain letters. As you can see, this letter has failed to keep up with developments in the issue, has acquired incorrect information (and caused a great deal of hardship for the Urban Institute) and is even recommended against by former supporters. Break this chain.”
From friend Dan:

The “Pharisee Jew Big-Bang Conspiracy”. The last line is the best:
“I am convinced that rather than risk teaching a lie, why teach anything?”
From friend Don:

Masterpieces Or Fakes? The Joyce Hatto Scandal February 15 2007

“It was already one of the strangest stories the classical music world had witnessed. But the discovery of the late English pianist Joyce Hatto as the greatest instrumentalist almost nobody had heard of, appears to have taken a bizarre, even potentially sinister turn.

It was around a year ago that Gramophone’s critics began to champion this little-known lady, whose discs – miraculous performances, released by her husband William Barrington-Coupe on the tiny label Concert Artist – were notoriously difficult to get hold of. Such was the brilliance of this pianist across Liszt, Schubert, Rachmaninov, Dukas and more in a dizzying range – that it was worth making the effort to seek out Concert Artist to get these discs, and they became much sought-after. By the time she died in June 2006, Joyce Hatto was not only a sudden widespread success, she was a cause célèbre. To love Hatto recordings was to be in the know, a true piano aficionado who didn’t need the hype of a major label’s marketing spend to recognise a good, a great, thing when they heard it.

See and hear for yourself the incontrovertible evidence of an audacious recording hoax. Here we examine a track from [a CD], released under the name of ‘Joyce Hatto’, but containing 10 tracks originally released in 1987 and played by Simon Laszlo on a BIS CD.

The fourth Hatto track has been quite subtlely doctored: digitally shrunk in time by 0.02% – just enough to alter overall timings, and with no shift in pitch; re-equalised to alter the piano tone slightly; panned slightly to the left, where the original piano was central.
In response to an e-mail I received:

There is no deadline to register cell phones to the Do Not Call List, despite what you might have heard. Here’s some info.

You can also register by phone (1-888-382-1222) or online.

Read more about this.
Mark Evanier disputes whether Wile E. Coyote’s middle name is Ethelbert, even though it was the Final JEOPARDY! question last month.
Even the Wall Street Journal needs to comment on Anna Nicole Smith (by Tunku Varadarajan. Feb 13, 2007. pg. A.24)

“Anna Nicole Smith was also a lowbrow (or really, a narcissistic) version of the American dream — the American dream of only bravado and guile, bereft of character or principles or talent. She was proof that the dream applies even to people with nothing to offer but themselves. If she is a tragic and cautionary tale to Americans, evidence that the American Dream requires substance and character, she may be evidence of the opposite to outsiders who see only the magic of wealth and fame won through the mere presentation of self. She inflates the reputation of American possibility abroad, making it seem like anything is possible in America — even reward without merit.”

Finally, this bugs me, too.

The Posthumous Still Have It

A couple months ago, I noticed the Rolling Stone lunchtime poll for Best Posthumous Album. What was interesting is that the two albums that seemed to dominate, among those who actually knew what “posthumous” meant, or weren’t into fossilizing the Rolling Stones, picked Johnny Cash’s American V: A Hundred Highways (a Rolling Stone pick) and Brainwashed by George Harrison, both artists were born around this time of the month.
There seems to be three major topics among American Beatles fans these days:
1)Whether that Cirque du Soleil songtrack, LOVE, is any good
2)Whether Heather Mills McCartney is Satan or merely the spawn of Satan
3)What’s going to be in the next box set of American LPs. The Capitol Albums, Vol. 1, included Meet the Beatles, The Beatles Second Album, Something New, and Beatles ’65. Vol. 2 contained The Early Beatles, Beatles VI, the Help! soundtrack, and the U.S. version of Rubber Soul, all of which were released in 1965. There won’t be boxes of albums where the US and the UK versions are exactly the same (Sgt. Pepper, the White Album, Yellow Submarine, Abbey Road, Let It Be). Magical Mystery Tour is off the table, because it was an American album that the Brits adopted. So what does that leave?
A Hard Day’s Night soundtrack- Originally on United Artists Records. It does have three Beatles songs, including the title cut, plus four soundtrack tunes not on Something New. But there are the five that overlap.
Revolver-the 11-song version instead of the 14. Do they really want to draw attention to this treachery?
Beatles Again/Hey Jude-The late Capitol/early Apple singles. But two of the HDN soundtrack songs are here as well.
The only album everyone agrees on is Yesterday…and Today. Why did I buy this at the Rexall store for $2.99, rather than waiting to get it from the Capitol Record Club? Maybe I was impatient. Why do I remember it cost $2.99?
Anyway, this is an odd album, oftentimes documented:
Side A
1. Drive My Car-Lennon/McCartney (Rubber Soul UK)
2. I’m Only Sleeping-Lennon/McCartney (Revolver UK)
3. Nowhere Man-Lennon/McCartney (Rubber Soul UK)
4. Doctor Robert-Lennon/McCartney (Revolver UK)
5. Yesterday-Lennon/McCartney (Help UK)
6. Act Naturally-Morrison/Russell (Help UK)
Side B
1. And Your Bird Can Sing-Lennon/McCartney (Revolver UK)
2. If I Needed Someone-Harrison (Rubber Soul UK)
3. We Can Work It Out-Lennon/McCartney (single)
4. What Goes On-Lennon/McCartney/Starkey (Rubber Soul UK)
5. Day Tripper-Lennon/McCartney (single)
My thoughts then: I love(d) Drive My Car. The album was good, but TWO Ringo songs? Also, What Goes On is in the same key as Day Tripper; I wouldn’t have put them next to each other.
My thoughts now: If you’re gonna butcher the UK albums, the pulling of four tracks from Rubber Soul, essentially one by each Beatle, was pretty deft. I know a number of folks who still think I’ve Just Seen a Face (from the UK Help album) is the better starting song for the Americanized Rubber Soul. Conversely, the three Lennon songs pulled from Revolver made the US version of THAT album lopsided, with 1 Ringo, 3 George, 5 Paul but only 2 John songs.
Oh, yeah, my copy of Yesterday…and Today got stolen in the Great LP Theft of 1972, so I’ll never know if I owned the butcher cover or not. It’s just as well.
Consider this my Underplayed Vinyl for the month.

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